Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla Wednesday said that the Punjab government will file an appeal against the decision passed by a single bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday regarding collection of fees by private schools for the period of lockdown.
During a press conference held at his office here at Punjab Civil Secretariat, Singla said that the Punjab government respects the decision of the High Court but in view of the adverse impact on the occupation and livelihood of the people and economic distress due to the lockdown, the state government will appeal to the division bench of the High Court to reconsider the decision.
He said that in the interest of all parties involved in the case such as parents, teachers, staff, school administrators and others, the Punjab government would take up the matter before court by filing LPA. “And the Letter Patents Appeal (LPA) will be filed before a division bench within next two or three days,” he added.
A single bench on Tuesday allowed private schools in Punjab, whether conducting online classes or not, to collect the tuition fee for the period of the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The court also allowed the schools to collect the admission fees.
Regarding charges other than the tuition fee, the court said school managements will work out their actual expenditure incurred under the ‘annual charges’ head for the period they remain closed and recover only genuine expenditure incurred by them, including actual transport charges and actual building charges.
The government earlier had allowed only those schools to collect tuition fees which were conducting online classes. While all the schools had been also asked to defer the last date for depositing admission fees, the government had prohibited the schools from taking other charges like transport, building expenses during the period of closure.
The orders were challenged before the High Court by various school managements, including Independent Schools Association and Punjab Schools Welfare Association.
The court on Tuesday restrained the schools from increasing the fee for the ongoing academic year (2020-21) and ordered them to adopt the same fee structure as of previous year.
The court also declined to interfere with the government directions asking schools to allow parents to pay on monthly or quarterly basis, and also with the government order asking them not to resort to removal of any teacher or reduce the monthly salary of teaching or non-teaching staff.
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