The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday said that schools can recover only tuition fee from students till the government declares that the coronavirus pandemic is over.
It also directed that fees shall not be increased for the academic year 2020-21.
Hearing several public interest litigations, the High Court’s Jabalpur bench also directed that the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff shall be paid regularly, and a reduction, if any, shall not be more than 20 percent.
The PILs demanded waiver of school fees in view of the economic distress caused by the pandemic, said advocate Dinesh Upadhyay, the petitioners’ lawyer.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice R K Dubey noted that though the schools are presently closed, they still have to pay salaries.
As private unaided educational institutions do not receive funds from the government, they are entirely dependent on fees, the judges observed.
The students/parents shall pay the tuition fee which will not include fees towards other heads such as library charges, laboratory fee, computer fee, the court order said.
“Unaided private institutions shall ensure that the students of all ranks are not deprived of the quality education/learning by adopting digital/online education platform evolved by the Government of India,” it said.
Further, as “entire physical activities in the schools are at standstill and the teaching is imparted through virtual mode, therefore, we direct that there shall not be increment in fee for Session 2020-21”, the HC said.
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