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Gujarat: Private schools cannot collect fees till they are closed

July 23, 2020

Gujarat private schools cannot charge any kind of fee from students till the schools are closed. Neither can they hike the fee for academic session 2020-21, as per a government resolution (GR) issued by the Gujarat education department on July 16.

Soon after the state government announced the GR, self-financed schools’ associations in the state held a meeting and announced that they will suspend all academic and administrative work from Thursday until the state government withdraws the decision. Some private schools stated the decision as “totally unreasonable and absolutely unacceptable”.

The GR also stated that the amount already deposited by parents will be adjusted against the fee later and no school can expel any student for not depositing fee till June 30. It added, “Schools cannot charge for any facility not provided by them.”

These decisions were taken following several public interest litigations (PILs) in the Gujarat High Court pertaining to several issues including private schools demanding fee for the lockdown period. The GR added, “Under High Court’s order of June 19, 2020, the education department had to work on issues including modalities for online education provided by private schools, to deliberate how effective this online education is for younger children, clarification on fee charged by schools during lockdown period and cancelling admission of students who have not submitted fee till June 30,” stated the GR. “The state government has decided that schools during the period they were closed, till they resume, they cannot charge any kind of tuition fee.”

The Association for Promotion of Prominent Schools in Ahmedabad also supported the protest. Manan Choksi, former president of the association said, “This is the only government that is saying that online education is not real education. Schools that have given 100 per cent salary are equated with those that have given only 50 per cent… How can we pay six months’ salary without fees? Order should be passed for schools on case to case basis….”

The Self-Financed School Management Association in its letter on April 14, 2020 stated that they will not hike any kind of fee for the academic session 2020-21. The state government in its GR stated that all these issues were under discussion of the state government when the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) issued PRAGYATA, guidelines for digital education on July 14. 

Source: The Indian Express

Also read: MHRD issues guidelines for online classes by schools

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