Supreme Court orders Schools to reduce fees
Created by Shalini Singh Updated on Feb 01, 2021
With the Pandemic, schools have closed and shifted to online classes. The Supreme Court on Monday, the 3rd of May 2021 has mentioned that educational institutions must reduce their fees. This is in line with the fact that the running costs have come down as a lot of facilities that are provided on campus have closed.
Further, it also emphasized that educational institutions should be considerate to the challenges people are facing because of the pandemic.
It will not be justified to charge full fee inclusive of many facilities when children are not going to schools and parents have faced pay cuts and job losses owing to Covid-19 and the pandemic. Demanding fees on such activities would be indulging in profiteering and commercialization. Clearly owing to the lockdown and pandemic for a long period, schools must have saved overheads and costs on many items such as fuel, water charges, stationery, electric and maintnance and hence charging full fees would not be justified.
Also, as per the law, school management cannot be heart to collect fees in respect to facilities and activities which they are not providing to students or students are not avaialing because of circumstances beyond their control.
Guidelines by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister
Last year, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia went on record saying that schools that are taking fees arbitrarily and charging transportation fees even though the schools are closed owing to the Pandemic, is not done. Mr Sisodia condemned the schools for hiking the fees and maintained that schools only ask for tuition fees. He further said that even if the parents are unable to pay the fees, they cannot be barred from online classes and that online education will have to be given to all the children.
What Schools Had To Say?
Schools had evoked the high Court’s October ruling and have clearly stated that they are entitled to charge full fees if online classes are conducted on a regular basis. They have also denied to have taken punitive actions against children over school fees issues. In their defense, they have maintained that only the students whose parents haven’t paid the tuition fees have been barred from online classes.
The Private school association had also blamed the education department for creating this confusion who they claim have issued notices basis misinterpretation of high court ruling. They have maintained that based on the ruling of the High Court, they are allowed to charge fees from parents if classes are held regularly. They also added that in case a parent has financial problems, they should talk to the school and that can be considered case to case.
What Parents think of Online Classes & Fee Hike?
We spoke to Parentune members across the country and here is what our parents feel about this. Not surprisingly, parents feel that learning through online classes and remote learning models in the last 9-10 months has not been satisfactory.
”It's us the parents who are doing most of the hard work to teach our children besides managing our jobs.Schools are doing a run-of-the-mill task and literally running a marathon to complete their target before the schedule.”
“It has definitely been affected. They are too young to focus on a screen and we cannot expect them to be independent for online classes despite best effort by the teachers. They get distracted and need a lot of hand holding from their parents.”
“Protests should take place as schools can't work according to their whims and fancies and rob the Parents' hard earned money in the name of education delivery.”
Online classes have clearly impacted the learning of students and has made it further difficult for parents who are juggling between domestic chores, their jobs and their time that goes in children's online classes. Their frustration is understandable
Most of the parents think that the fee hike is making their situation worse. While most of the parents do not want their children to go to schools until the time everyone is vaccinated, they think the protests against the schools charging full fees for remote learning is justified.
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