Proving relief to private schools, the Delhi High Court has rightly dismissed a petition seeking exemption from payment of school fees duration the lockdown. The plea argued that the crisis had led to job losses and pay cuts, and parents should not be forced to pay fees to schools as the premises are shut.
According to Rule 165 of the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, which states that if a school is shut on the 10th day of a month—the period by when fees need to be paid—the payment can be deferred till the 10th day after it re-opens.
The petitioner argued that since schools remain shut, even tuition fees shouldn’t be charged from parents. However, the High Court rejected this invocation of Rule 165, ruling that it specified only the payability conditions of fees, and not the chargeability of it.
The High Court noted, it is much more difficult for teachers to take classes online and their efforts cannot be ignored.
Even with online classes, schools are incurring expenditure and maintaining the required digital infrastructure for students. Schools hiring platforms to deliver e-lessons also need to pay the fees these charge.
To suggest that schools should not charge the tuition fees because they are shut is without foundation, because their fundamental deliverables have not been suspended.
The current economic milieu has put pressures on all sectors.