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Jaipur HC grants tuition fee concession to private school students post COVID-19 lockdown

Students have been awarded waivers in view of the economic crunch post the coronavirus lockdown.

Relief shines upon Rajasthan schools students and their parents as Jaipur High Court rules in the favour of school fees concession post the coronavirus induced lockdown. On Friday, the double bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanti and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma stated that the private schools will now be able to collect fees as per the recommendations issued by the state government on October 28 this year.

These recommendations direct the schools to collect 70% of the tuition fees if they are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and 60% for the schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board Secondary Education. This waiver has been granted on the basis of syllabus reduction by the respective boards.

Tuition fee concession for the benefit of students

In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the order issued by the Rajasthan government dated April 4, 2020, deferred the collection of school fees by the private schools recognised by the Primary and Secondary Education Department for three months. Subsequently, vide order dated July 7, 2020, the directives were extended till the reopening of the schools with an added condition that the name of any student shall not be struck off due to non-payment of school fees.

Perturbed by this, the Progressive Schools Association went to the court against the state government. The schools advocated that the school fees is the sole source of income for the school staff and waivers here will make it difficult for the educational institutes to retain their teaching staff.

However, on Friday, the double bench at the Jaipur High Court stated, "It is true that the private schools have to maintain their infrastructure and to keep their teaching and non-teaching staff intact to run the institution after reopening of the schools but it is also equally considerable fact that during complete lockdown period and afterwards most of the parents have lost their jobs and they are also finding it very difficult to run their family. Therefore, the directions issued vide order dated 28.10.2020 appears to be a bonafide step taken by the State Government by making a balance between the school management and the parents."

Regulation of school fees by Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2016

The school fees for private schools in Rajasthan has been determined by the Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2016. The concession of the tuition fee, due to the current circumstances have been processed under the Rules of 2017 which envisaged separate heads of fees such as tuition fees, library fees, etc.

The High Court order directed that the fees prescribed for the last academic session will not be increased. Besides this, the order also details that fees for all additional facilities, including laboratories, sports equipment other extra co-curricular facilities can not be charged by the private institutes.

- With inputs from IANS

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