HC permits schools, colleges to collect 40% of fees by Aug. 31


HC permits schools, colleges to collect 40% of fees by Aug. 31

Mohamed Imranullah S.CHENNAI 17 JULY 2020 23:54 ISTUPDATED: 17 JULY 2020 23:54 IST    

Another 35% will be collected after the institutions reopen and commence classes

Observing that there was great uncertainty over when the threat of COVID-19 would subside and pave way for the reopening of schools and colleges, the Madras High Court on Friday permitted all self-financing educational institutions in the State to collect 40% of the fee for now, and ordered that it should be remitted on or before August 31.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh clarified that 40% of the fee fixed for the academic year 2019-20 could be collected as advance fee for the academic year 2020-21, since it was reported to him that the Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, headed by a retired High Court judge, was yet to fix the fee for the years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.

All india private educationl institution general Secretry Palaniappan filed case by advt vijayanath


Fee determination panel

When it was also brought to the notice of the judge that several schools in the State were to yet to collect fee arrears, running to several lakh rupees, for the academic year 2019-20, the judge ordered that those arrears should be paid in full, on or before September 30. Students who had already paid the entire fees, including arrears, could not claim any refund, he said.

As far as the rest of the 60% of fee for the academic year 2020-21 was concerned, the judge said that 35% could be collected within two months after the institutions reopen and commence physical classes. He further ordered that fee determination committees for schools and colleges should fix the fee for the next three years, within eight months from August.

The balance fees for the current academic year could be collected after such determination, he said, and made it clear that the directions issued to the committees would not, in any way, prejudice the rights of educational institutions which had already moved the Supreme Court and the High Court challenging the jurisdiction of such committees to fix fee for private institutions.

Stating that the interim arrangement for collection of 40% of fees was being made in the interests of teachers who had to be paid salaries and parents who might not be able to pay more, Justice Venkatesh ordered that teachers of unaided private educational institutions should not insist upon annual salary increments or other perks until normalcy is restored.

Free notebooks

He directed the State government to consider a request made by some self-financing schools to provide books and notebooks, for free, to children who could not afford them. “For this, the Sate government can get the particulars of students who are in dire straits from the respective schools, and this can also be confined to those students.

“This direction is issued purely in the interest of students who should not be deprived of education due to their inability to purchase textbooks and notebooks. This court is confident that the State government will come up with a positive response in this regard,” the judge said, and adjourned a batch of cases filed by the private institutions to October 5.

The cases were filed challenging a government order issued in April restraining all private schools and colleges from forcibly collecting fees during the lockdown. After the court insisted upon balancing the interests of teachers who were dependant on salary as well as the parents, the government reconsidered its decision.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan on Friday informed the court that it had been decided to permit private schools to collect 25% of fees at present, 25% within two weeks after the commencement of physical classes, 25% three months after the schools reopen and the rest after the determination of fee for the current academic year by the committee concerned.

However, senior counsel K.M. Vijayan, Fr. Xavier Arulraj, R. Silambanan and advocates E. Vijay Anand and R. Sankaran vehemently objected to such a measure and insisted that they should be allowed to collect 50% of fees immediately and 25% after the commencement of physical classes. They said that educational institutions were fully dependant on the fees for paying salaries to staff.

You may also like...