Schools imparting online education can charge only tuition fee: Punjab Education Minister
Says, schools should not increase fee for session 2020-21
Chandigarh: Punjab Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla, while giving a big relief to parents of the state, said that only those schools which are imparting online education will be allowed to charge only tuition fee for lockdown period and admission fees, uniform or any other charges in any form will not be charged from the students. He added that the school managements should also refrain themselves from increasing the fee or any other charges during academic session 2020-21 in view of the nationwide disaster.
In a press communiqué released here today, Mr. Singla said that economical activities have reduced to the minimal extent due to the countrywide curfew/lockdown, hence there is dire need to provide relief to the parents of the students. “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 of charging only tuition fee from students. Schools that are not conducting online classes cannot be able to charge any fee or fund," he asserted. He said that although interest of the students is paramount for us but with the new guidelines we have tried to strike a balance by allowing Private schools to charge tuition fee so that they can meet their monthly expenses and pay their staff timely.
Mr. Singla categorically said, “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 directed said that no school can expel any student, if he fails to pay tuition fees in time or gets it delayed due to any reason. He added that the livelihood of many parents has been affected severely due to the pandemic and school managements should also stand by them in this tough time. “We have also provisioned that parents can pay tuition fees for their children on monthly basis instead of quarterly basis so that parents of the students are not burdened with the amount,” he added.
Protecting the rights of the employees, the Minister also instructed that schools can neither stop nor reduce the salaries of their teachers and other employees under any circumstances. Besides this, schools managements have also been instructed that they cannot shunt out its employee on the pretext of lockdown and low affair of financial activities. "Strict action will be taken against all those schools, which will either stop or reduce the salaries of the teachers and employees," Singla said adding that Education Department is already monitoring the situation. He also said that an action committee has also been formed to punish the schools violating the laid norms.
The Education Minister said that the District Education Officers (DEO) have been asked to ensure that all private schools, under their jurisdiction, comply with the government orders and detailed guidelines of the Education department.