Rajasthan High Court
Rajasthan High Court
File Photo

Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court on Friday ruled that private schools will be able to charge fees as per the state government’s recommendations. This means CBSE affiliated private schools will be able to charge 70 per cent tuition fee while schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board will be able to charge 60 per cent of tuition fees.

A High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Indrajit Mohanty pronounced the verdict after that hearing had been completed on Thursday. A petition had been filed by the state government and around 12 parents associations.

The parents association was not satisfied with the court ruling saying there was no clarity on several issues.

“We had given a suggestion that schools should charge 25 per cent fees. But that has not been accepted. It is not clear what will happen to those students who did not attend online classes and if this academic session is declared a zero session then on what basis will these students be promoted,” said Abhishek Jain of the Joint Parents Association Rajasthan.

He said they will again approach the same bench for clarity in these matters or, if needed, they will approach the Supreme Court.

The High Court said there was no need for interference by the court in this policy decision of the state government as it has tried to strike a balance between the schools’ management and the parents. The court said the government had taken necessary steps in due exercise of its powers in the wake of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the plight of the citizens.

The court said private schools will be able to charge fees as per the state government’s recommendations given on October 28.

The state government had formed a committee on the directions of the High Court to look into the matter of school fees after a long agitation by parents’ associations opposing private schools charging full fee during the COVID-19 pandemic when teaching is being done online.

The committee had suggested that CBSE affiliated schools should reduce 30 per cent fees of classes 9 to 12 as the board has cut 30 per cent of the syllabus while schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of School Education should cut fees by 40 per cent as their syllabus has been reduced by 40 percent.

The committee also said schools would not be able to charge fees from those students who did not attend the online classes.

The private schools had not accepted the recommendations of the government and school managements had launched a protest, saying they should be allowed to charge full fee.

In its order, the court directed all private schools to form necessary bodies required for special determination of fees within 15 days as per the Rajasthan School (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2016 and Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Rules, 2017.

It directed that all private schools shall especially determine school fees for the period in which schools remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and after opening of the schools in terms of the provisions of section 8 of the Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2016. The special determination of school fees has to be completed within two months from the date of the order, the court said.

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