New Delhi, November 16: On Monday, 150 private schools approached Supreme Court against the Calcutta HC order barring any fee hike during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The schools argued that a fee hike was needed to pay salaries, and increase tech infrastructure for online classes, India Today reported.
Schools have been closed all over India since the end of March 2020 when Covid-19 cases started to rise in India. The central government has given the clearance for schools to be reopened with reduced attendance and in phases from October 15 onwards in non-containment zones.
Since then, schools have shifted to online classes and the government has also come up with a number of ways to help education reach underprivileged students who do not have access to internet or smartphones or laptops.
However, for this case, Supreme Court adjourned the fee hike matter to January. No interim relief wad provided to the schools.
In mid-October, the Calcutta High Court ordered private schools in the state to reduce fees by a minimum of 20 percent across the board. The order was given while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the parents of 15,000 students spread over 100 private schools in Kolkata.
Parents had moved court arguing that private institutions couldn’t be allowed to charge the usual fees despite no classes being conducted for a considerable period of time during the lockdown because the schools were using only limited resources.
Terming the present situation as “unique and unprecedented”, the Calcutta HC said it was “completely unacceptable that schools have not incurred less expenditure than usual since the lockdown came to be in force from or about the end of March this year”.
While accepting the autonomy of private unaided schools to determine individual fee structures, as long as there was no element of “profit-making”, the Calcutta High Court also ruled that there would be no fee hike during the financial year 2020-21.