Private Schools Banned From Taking Fees Till They Are Closed; Govt Orders In This State
A ray of hope for parents having children in private schools as now private schools cannot charge any kind of fee from students for tuition or other co-curricular activities as long as the schools are closed according to a government resolution (GR) issued by the Gujarat education department.
How Did This Happen?
Now schools can not charge any kind of tuition fees from students and also and cannot hike the fee for academic sessions 2020-21.
In response to this GR, private school associations in the state held a meeting and further announced that they will suspend all the academic and administrative work from Thursday till the state government withdraws the decision.
While some of the private schools issued circulars to announce the suspension of all online classes and said that the demands “totally unreasonable and absolutely unacceptable”.
What Does The GR Say?
According to this GR, issued on July 16, the already deposited amount by parents will be adjusted against the fee later and also, no school can expel any student for not depositing fee till June 30.
It says, “Schools cannot charge for any facility not provided by them,”.
Why Would This Happen?
The decisions were taken following many public interest litigations (PILs) in the Gujarat High Court during the Covid-19 pandemic pertaining to several issues, which also included private schools demanding fees for the lockdown period and online classes.
The GR stated, “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 the fee charged by schools during lockdown period and cancelling admission of students who have not submitted fee till June 30,”.
It added, “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 Gujarat High Court had sought the government’s opinion on these issues. So we produced this Government Resolution (GR) as an affidavit in the High Court as the opinion of the government,” said Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Gujarat Education Minister.
The next court hearing is scheduled on Friday, 24, July.
What Does Gujrat Govt Say?
According to Chudasama, the government will cover all students from Class 3 to 12 through its online education programme under the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).
“We already have learning material developed in Gujarati medium and the process has already started to cover English medium students. We are expecting to come out with this (study material) in 10 days,” he added.
Further, the minister said, “I am only responsible for my board and its students,” when asked about the concerns of parents of students enrolled under boards other than GSHSEB.
Moving ahead he said that required instructions have been passed on to the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) and GSHSEB.
While President of Gujarat Self Financed School Management Association, Bharat Gajipara said, “When the state government has failed to reach out to 80 per cent of government school students with its online education programme, how will it reach out to 70-80 lakh students of private schools,” said.