Friday, October 30, 2020
Education

Gujarat HC asks govt to take decision on school fees

September 18, 2020 08:23 PM

GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat High Court on Friday said that the state government was independent enough to take a decision on the school fees to be charged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After failed talks with the association of school federations on the fee issue, the government was looking towards the High Court for a solution to the fee imbroglio.

"The Gujarat government should independently decide on the fee reduction issue. Till date, the government has not taken any decision on the issue. Why are they asking us (HC) to mediate? They have got immense powers. They can take a decision under the Epidemic Act also," a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and JB Pardiwala said.

After parents created a hullabaloo over the exorbitant fees charged by schools for online classes, the Gujarat government came out with a Government Resolution (GR) in June to order private and self-financed schools in the state to waive tuition and other fees when physical functioning of the schools is not possible.

The High Court struck down the GR after the association of school federations approached it, saying that schools do need certain financial resources to conduct even online classes.

The Gujarat government then filed a petition in the High Court to seek directions regarding this issue wherein the court had ordered both the parties to resolve this issue amicably through discussions.

Even after two meetings between both the parties, a consensus could not be reached. The government suggested that the schools reduce tuition fee by 25%, which the schools disagreed with. The schools' federations wanted fee waiver on a case-by-case basis.

After Friday's High Court order, the ball is once again back in the government's court.

 
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