The Allahabad High Court has sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s stand on a plea for the exemption of private school students fees for the Covid-19 lockdown period besides promoting pupils up to class 8 to next classes without examinations.
A bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma sought the government’s stand last week on a public interest lawsuit filed by civil society passed Masoom Bachpan Foundation.
In the lawsuit, the petitioner also raised the issue of health hazards to children during online classes due to the prolonged exposure to electromagnetic waves purportedly emitted by laptop, computers and mobile phones. The petitioner alleged that the electronic devices are having a huge impact on anxiety and stress level, logical thinking, memory, mood and mental stability of tiny tots. Pointing out that several educationists, accordingly, have suggested “no examination system”, the petitioner prayed the court to pass a direction to the educational authorities to promote the primary school students to their next classes in the academic session 2020-21 without taking their tests.
The petitioner asserted that during the lockdown, no educational institution was functioning, and, therefore, no fee should be charged from students and their parents. The petitioner also sought auditing of unaided schools’ accounts to examine if the fees already paid by students were not sufficient to pay teachers’ salaries during the lockdown. Following the November 17 hearing of the petition, the bench slated it for the next hearing, which is on December 4.
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