Top Court Declines Parents’ Plea To Waive School Fees Amid Lockdown

School-going children’s parents from different states have moved to the top court to seek for the delay or halt in the submission of school fees amid the COVID-19 lockdown. However, the top court asked to withdraw the plea and said that the plea should be moved to the high court.

The plea urged the Centre and states to order all schools to only charge student’s fees based on the school’s expenditure upon conducting online classes. The plea asked schools for no other fees other than the expenditure until no physical classes are held.

“The petitioners belonging to different states of the country have come together being constrained to approach this court seeking inter alia the protection of fundamental right to life as well as education guaranteed under the Constitution of India, 1950 which the children & students enrolled up to the Class XII of various Indian states are being deprived of due to supervening factors namely, the ongoing pandemic- COVID-19 period…,” the plea said.

Due to the lockdown, the source of income has been affected thus leading to parents financially weak. This plea came to lessen the burden of such parents amid the lockdown. If parents bear the fees burden with no proper source of income then there are chances that they may withdraw their students from schools thus leaving students, deprive of the education for an unknown time.

The parents in their plea highlighted various factors leading to the creation of hostile discrimination of children and parents of various states as some protection may be available for children or students in some states but not others.

School-going children’s parents who moved to the top court are from Odisha, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Maharashtra.

The plea added that many schools have hiked their fees amid the lockdown. Many schools have even started to harass parents by making the submission of entire quarterly school fees in advance, the plea further added. The schools are asking for advance quarterly fees despite the non-functioning of physical classes due to the pandemic.

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Aisha Zainab: