News Desk: On Tuesday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a verdict allowed private schools to collect tuition fees, irrespective whether they had offered online classes during the COVID-19 lockdown period or not.
This verdict came after a bunch of petitions was filed by the Independent Schools’ Association, Punjab Schools Welfare Association, The Recognised and Affiliated School Association and many others against the state of Punjab.
The court said, “All schools irrespective of whether they offered online classes during the lockdown period or not, are entitled to collect the tuition fee”.
Hon’ble Judge Nirmaljit Kaur however added that schools should continue to endeavor and impart online or distance learning so that education is not adversely impacted due to the lockdowns imparted due to the ongoing pandemic.
The single bench of hon’ble Judge Nirmaljit Kaur also allowed the schools to collect other charges for the lockdown period, but with a rider. The court also restrained the schools from increasing the fee for the ongoing academic session (2020-21) and ordered them to adopt the same fee structure as of previous year.
The court however declined to interfere in the government’s decision. State government asked schools to allow parents to pay fee on monthly or quarterly basis. The state government also ordered schools not to remove any teacher or reduce the salary of teaching and non-teaching staff.
The following directions are being issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court with respect to levying of school fees:
- All schools, irrespective whether they offered online classes or not during the lockdown period or not are entitled to collect tuition fee.
- Schools will continue to endeavour and impart online/ distance learning so that education is not adversely impacted due to the present or future lockdowns imposed due to COVID-19.
- Schools are permitted to collect their admission fee, henceforth, since the COVID-19 lockdown has now been lifted.
The High Court said, “To remove all confusions, the schools should be allowed to recover their admission fee now that the lock-down stands lifted on 08.06.2020 to a great degree”.
- The schools shall restrain themselves from increasing the fee for the year 2020-21 and adopt the same fee structure as of 2019- 20.
The Court also issued the following directions while responding to grievances raised by parents on the levying of schools fees during the COVID-19 lockdown:
- Parents who are not able to pay school fee may file their application with proof about their financial status to be looked into by the school- authority.
- No parent shall misuse the concession by laying a false claim.
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