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HC strikes down education dept’s no fee notification

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The Gujarat High Court on Friday struck down a notification of the education department asking self-financed schools not to collect fee while they remain closed.

The notification of the state education department was issued on July 16.

 

This resulted in a confrontation between the state and the Federation of Self Financed Schools.

The latter argued that it was not possible to let go of fee as they had to pay salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff.

They further argued that charging a fee was justified as they were already conducting online classes.

What the court said about 

On Friday, a division bench of the high court set aside the particular ‘fee’ clause in the notification.

It also asked the state and the schools to discuss and resolve the matter.

The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala also questioned the state government’s logic behind the ‘no fee until schools reopen’ move.

Also Read: Ensure timely payment to healthcare workers: Supreme Court

The bench will issue a detailed order in the matter later.

Earlier the government had informed the court that they were forced to bring the notification as schools had refused to lower the charges. Several parents, hit by the pandemic, were not able to pay the same.

What the government says about fee

Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the high court has lauded the state government’s move to ensure online education is on. 

He said the court has also asked that online education should not be stopped. 

Chudasama said the government will study the detailed order of the high court and follow it.

Schools stopped online classes 

After the education department notification, the schools had stopped online classes for three days.

Later close to 15000 schools associated with the organisation resumed classes.

The notification had also asked schools not to leave out a student who had not paid the fee.

The notification said it would adjust the teaching expenditure in next year’s fee.

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