Order for paying school fees and salary to teachers
Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Independent Schools’ Association Chandigarh (Regd.) and others v. State of Punjab and others allowed that the 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.
Advocate Aashish Chopra appearing for the petitioner i.e. school management associations and told the High Court that the State Government had issued a memo on May 14th for directing schools to only collect tuition fees for the conduct of online classes during the present period and not building charges, transportation charges, and charges for meals, etc.
Presently the schools were barred from collecting fees under heads such as building, transportation, and meal charges to the students. Even it was also clarified that the schools could not reduce the salary payable to teachers during this time. During the course of the hearing, the petitioners also told the Court that all the private unaided schools’ deposit funds under the head ‘Reserved Fund’ are with the Punjab School Education Board. It was informed that presently, an amount of Rs.77 Crores lay in this account.
After recording the submission Justice Ritu Bahri allowed interim relief to the school management associations with some directions.
The High Court is given interim direction that the admission fee which is paid one time by the parents, shall be paid in two equal installments in six months and the 70% of the total school fee will be charged from the parents of the students and 70% salary will be paid to the teachers during the pendency of this writ petition. On the next date of hearing, learned counsel for the State will file a detailed reply and further will get instructions as to how the respondents can help the private schools with regard to the amount deposited in the ‘Reserved Fund’ for sanitizing the school buildings.
The matter is listed to be taken up next on June 12.