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Punjab To Challenge High Court Order Allowing Private Schools To Collect Tuition Fee

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Schools should take annual charges on pro rata basis after their reopening: Minister (Representational)

Chandigarh:

The Punjab government will challenge the High Court that allowed private schools to collect tuition fee “irrespective of offering online classes”.

State Education minister Vijay Inder Singla said the state government has decided to approach a two-judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana Court against the order.

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On Tuesday, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur had allowed private schools to collect tuition fee “irrespective of offering online classes” during the coronavirus lockdown period.

The court had also allowed schools to collect admission fee. However, the schools have been restrained from increasing fee for 2020-21.

Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, the education minister said parents of schoolchildren could not get relief on the issue, though the court restrained schools from increasing fee.

He said the issue was discussed in the Punjab cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday.

The decision to file an appeal against the order was taken after a meeting in which Singla, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Advocate General Atul Nanda and Education Secretary Krishan Kumar were present.

The state government had been maintaining that the private schools, which are not holding online classes, should not charge fee.

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The minister said the schools should take annual charges on pro rata basis after their reopening.

The minister said the state government had always wanted to provide relief to parents of schoolchildren in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said when the lockdown was imposed in March, the education department had ordered schools not to charge fee until it was there.

He said the department allowed private schools to charge tuition fee for providing online education to students.

The department had also ordered that no annual, administrative and transportation charges will be collected from parents, said the minister.

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