Ever since the nationwide lockdown has come into effect, the schools across the country have been shut since mid-March 2020. The same has been the case with Punjab where all the schools are shut since the coronavirus pandemic started spreading in the state. But despite the schools being closed, parents were being pressured by schools for payment of fees. This created a situation of financial distress for the parents who were unable to earn any income as all economic activities have been closed ever since.
Now, offering a major relief to the parents in the state, Education Minister of Punjab, Mr. Vijay Inder Singla announced that only those schools that are imparting online education to the students would be allowed to charge tuition fees only. Any other charges like admission fee, uniform charges, or any other charges can not be levied on the students till the schools reopen. He further added that the government had instructed the schools to refrain from increasing the fee or any other charges for the academic year 2020-21 considering the pandemic situation in the country.
Detailed Instructions Issued By The Government: Education Minister
The education minister stated that “We have passed an order mandating the schools to charge just tuition fees during the lockdown period,” he said, adding that the government order clearly states that only those schools, who are conducting online classes, will be eligible for charging only tuition fee from students. Schools that are not conducting online classes cannot be able to charge any fee or fund.”
He further added that while the students’ interests are “paramount to us but with the new guidelines we have tried to strike a balance by allowing private schools to charge tuition fees so that they can meet their monthly expenses and pay their staff timely.”
Schools Must Not Expel Any Student For Non-Payment Of Tuition Fee: Education Minister
The education minister of Punjab further added that no schools should expel any student for the delay in payment of tuition fees for any reason whatsoever. He stated that “This order has been passed complying with the guidelines of the Delhi High Court judgment with the sole aim of giving relief to the students and their parents. The concerned DEO will ensure that beyond tuition fee, no school should charge any transport fee, mess charges, building charges, and any additional charge.”
He also informed that the schools had been told not to stop or reduce the salaries of any employees or teachers under any circumstances. Moreover, schools cannot expel any employee or teacher on the pretext of a lockdown or reduced financial activities. Strict action will be initiated against schools who either expel any employee or delay their salaries.