Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 19
The UT Education Department has allowed private-unaided schools to collect only tuition fees on a monthly basis from students until further orders. The last date to deposit tuition fee has been decided as 15th of every month from June 2020 onwards.
However, the fee of April and May for this year is to be collected by May 31 with no late fee to be charged up to that date.
“In case any parent is not in a position to deposit the fee in time due to adverse financial circumstances owing to the COVID-19 crisis, such request will be considered sympathetically on a case-to-case basis by the concerned schools,” reads the official orders.
However, neither name of any student was to be struck off nor he/she was to be deprived of online teaching on this account during the lockdown period, the orders further read.
The schools have also been directed to provide access to online education to all students, without any discrimination during the lockdown/vacation period. The schools have been asked to neither stop payment of monthly salary nor reduce the existing total emolument of teaching and non-teaching staff.
It had come to the notice of the department that private schools had cut 40 per cent salary of the staff. The department has communicated in the official orders that schools would ensure timely payment of salary to the staff as per the regular practice of the schools.
On March 30, the UT Education Department had directed all recognised private-unaided schools to reschedule the last date for depositing the fees and funds for the session 2020-21.
It was directed that the last date would be fixed by giving at least one-month time to parents after reopening of the school and no late fees would be charged.
The Independent School Association and seven other petitioners challenged this order by filing a civil writ petition. The petitioners pleaded that for the payment of salary and other expenses, the schools needed to collect fees from students.
“The practice of charging a consolidated fee, which very cunningly includes all hidden charges and extra funds, are now being ordered to pay in full. Moreover, schools are now demanding full hiked fees from parents suffering massive financial losses while the administration has not taken a single action against the defaulter schools for not uploading their balance sheets, apart from providing them with extensions and leverages,” said a parents’ body.
Meanwhile, Chandigarh Congress has demanded fee waiver for students and relief package for management.
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