The matter of school fees charged during corona period has reached the Supreme Court with the latter issuing notices to CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations) , Madhya Pradesh state government, CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and Association of Unaided CBSE Schools, following a petition filed by Jagrut Palak Sangh, Indore. The next hearing in the case will be after 3 weeks.
The parents had filed a petition in SC against the alleged unjustified fees charged by the schools during the height of corona pandemic when only online classes were held. Earlier, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Jabalpur Bench of the High Court by the sangh. High Court had ruled that tuition fees can be recovered by the schools. Hence, in appeal, parents approached SC in the matter.
In the hearing, advocate Mayank Kshirsagar representing petitioner along with Sangh secretary Sachin Maheshwari, presented the fees receipts of some private schools before the court. The representatives quoted that schools have been charging complete fee under the head of tuition fee.
Advocate Chanchal Gupta, president of the Sangh, said that the petition demanded that a committee should be set up under the supervision of the High Court to determine the proper tuition fees.
Parents meet school edu minister over fees
Complaints against private schools charging full fees even while providing only online classes for students are continuously coming up. Parents of students studying in private schools have even met the Minister of State for School Education seeking relief.
After the meeting, the minister asked them to meet officials of the education department. Further, as decided and instructed in the meeting, the education department issued a notice to all the private schools in the state.
The department said that even if the fees of a child is not deposited, private schools will not be able to deprive them of online classes or exams. Further, it added that necessary action will be taken against the schools whose complaints have been received.
However, in respect of fees, orders have already been issued by the High Court and the government that lump sum fees will not be collected from the parents. Also, only educational fees will be charged.
Despite this, private schools are pressuring parents to pay lump sum fees. Parents had also complained to the collector against two-three private schools in Indore district.
Nearly 400 complaints against private schools
After the Corona period, about 400 complaints against private schools have been received by the District Education Officer and MP Child Rights Protection Commission regarding fees. Many orders have been issued by the regime since the Corona period, but still parents are upset that no action has been against the private school.
“We have received several complaints from parent associations and requisite instructions have been given to officials for ensuring that no child is denied online education in absence of fee payment. District education officers have been ordered to investigate the matter and clarify the situation,” KK Dwivedi, Director, DPI (Directorate of Public Instruction), said.