- Court asks schools to avoid overhead costs like transportation, recreation and others
- Take up a non-profit outlook for sometime
- Offer easy payment and installment options for fee
A bench of the Gujarat High Court in a detailed order said private schools in the state can charge a reasonable tuition fee from students.
It had earlier struck down the clause in the government notification stating that schools cannot charge fees until they are fully functional.
Private schools in the state had moved the high court against the order.
The court also clarified that self-financed schools cannot charge overhead fees like transport and others.
A detailed order of the division bench led by Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala said that there was a need to strike a balance to protect the interest of students, their parents and that of unaided private schools.
The order acknowledges that thousands have lost their jobs and several others faced pay cuts due to the pandemic.
What order says
“We understand that schools need a certain amount of money to function and pay their staff salaries but it is also important to remember that not all families are financially stable at the moment,” the order said.
“Keeping in mind the current situation, a balance has to be struck between providing children a reasonable education and allowing the schools to stay afloat,” the order reads.
It said there is no alternate education system in place that can be implemented during a public health crisis.
It also acknowledged the effort put in by schools and teachers for online education and that they must be paid for their time and service.
What is allowed and not allowed
Schools can charge a reasonable tuition fee for online classes they conduct.
All the other overhead fees for bus service, sports and recreation should be avoided.
Schools need to be conscious of the economic instability faced by their students’ families.
Schools may adopt a non-profit outlook for the next few months.
They should allow fees to be paid every month or in installments so less burden is exerted on the parents.
They should offer a flexible method of payment to encourage financially struggling families to keep their child’s education going.
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