Mumbai: Parents File Plea Asking the High Court to Bar Schools From Increasing Fees

Mumbai: Parents File Plea Asking the High Court to Bar Schools From Increasing Fees

A collective of 30 parents has filed intervention applications with the Bombay High Court supporting a Government Resolution or GR passed by the State on May 8. This GR said that schools are restricted from hiking their fees for the academic year of 2020-21. Further, the State’s order had said parents should be allowed to make pending payments in monthly instalments. 

The High Court had stayed the implementation of this GR after the Association of Indian Schools accompanied by a handful of other groups filed petitions asking for a stay in the order. In response, the parents want the High Court to lift the stay so that these actions can be put in place effectively. 

One of the primary contentions of the parents is that the coronavirus crisis has forced an unprecedented economic crisis resulting in a cash crunch. Keeping this in mind, parents want to be allowed to pay the existing fees in instalments while also making sure they are not charged fees for the lockdown period. Additionally, the parents have asked for schools to be barred from expelling students from in-person or online classes if they’re unable to pay the fees on time.  

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In the meantime, the High Court has asked advocates representing Association of Indian Schools, Kasegaon Education Society, Global Education Foundation and Sant Dnyaneshwar Mauli Sanstha to file objections to the parents’ pleas by August 20. The hearing on the matter has been adjourned until then.

The Maharashtra State Education Ministry said in April that citizens can contact their respective District Education Officer if schools are found to be demanding fees for the lockdown period.

It is worth mentioning that while some parents have lost their jobs as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, some are managing to survive with up to 50 per cent reductions in salaries. It’s clear that in addition to addressing the human toll of the coronavirus, the economic revival and sustenance of the common people also needs to be considered. 

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