Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday allowed schools in the State to collect 70% of the total fee payable by students as interim relief in pleas by school management associations amid the COVID-19 lockdown as grievance had been raised that while schools have been restricted from collecting building/transportation/meal charges etc. on the one hand they are also barred from reducing salaries for teachers during the lockdown.
Appearing for the petitioning school management associations, Advocate Aashish Chopra told the High Court that the State Government had issued a memo on May 14 directing schools to only collect tuition school fees for the conduct of online classes during the present period.
It was contended that these were contradictory conditions, since on one hand parents were being given concessions in fee payment, while on the other hand schools were not being given any leeway when it came to payment of salaries for teachers.
After recording the submission, Justice Ritu Bahri allowed interim relief in school fees sector to the school management associations on both counts, directed the following in the case of school fees,
- Admission School fee (which is paid on one-time basis by the parents) shall be paid in two equal instalments in six months;
- 70% of the total school fee will be charged from the parents of the students;
- 70% salary will be paid to the teachers during the pendency of this writ petition.
The Court has also asked the State Government to respond on how the Reserved Fund may be put to use to help in building sanitisation in private schools.
The State has also been allowed time to file a response on the main plea regarding school fee and salary payment amid the lockdown.
The matter is listed to be taken up next on June 12.
Read the order below: