Schools entitled to tuition fee irrespective of offering online classes: Punjab HC

Parents unable to pay fee can file application with school

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Photo for representation only.

Chandigarh, June 30: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday ruled that all the schools were entitled to collect tuition fee irrespective of offering online classes during the lockdown.

Justice Nirmaljit Kaur of the High Court also asked schools to continue to make an endeavour to impart online/distance learning to prevent education from being adversely impacted due to the “present or future lockdowns”.

“The school management of each school shall work out their actual expenditure incurred under the annual charges for the period the school remained closed and recover only such genuine expenditure incurred by them including actual transport charges and actual building charges, but shall not recover any charge for this period for any activity or facility towards which no expenditure was incurred,” Justice Nirmaljit Kaur added.

The schools were also restrained from increasing the fee for 2020-21 and adopt the fee structure of 2019- 20.

In a major relief for the parents, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur added those unable to pay the school fee could file an application, along with necessary proof, about their financial status.

“After looking into it sympathetically, the schools would give concession or exempt the entire fee as the case may be,” she added.

In case the parent was aggrieved following an adverse decision by the school on his application, he could approach the regulatory body constituted under the provisions of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Un-aided Educational Institutions Act, 2016.

“No parent shall misuse the concession by laying a false claim,” Justice Nirmaljit Kaur added.

The directions came on a bunch of petitions filed by the Independent Schools’ Association Chandigarh and others petitioners against the State of Punjab and other respondents.