With the rise in coronavirus virus cases, schools and colleges were forced to close down and online classes became the new normal. The Supreme Court on Monday directed 36,000 private unaided schools of Rajasthan to charge 15 percent less annual fees. This is applicable for students in academic session 2020-21. 

The apex body also made it clear that no students would be debarred from attending virtual classes due to non-payment of fees. The faculty are not allowed to hold up the respective students’ results too. 

The Supreme Court agreed that the schools had to reduce the fees. The bench taking the decision comprised of justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari. In the bench’s  128-page judgement, it was made clear that the academic fees for the academic year 2020-21 would be payable in six equal instalments by students or guardians. 

The economy, purchasing power and the general financial status of the company have been impacted and affected by the lockdown. “A large number of people have lost their jobs and livelihood as the aftermath of such economic upheaval. The parents who were under severe stress and even unable to manage their day to day affairs and the basic need of their family made fervent representation to the school Management(s) across the State, Justice Khanwilkar noted in the verdict.

The verdict also pointed out that the schools shall collect school fees from their students as fixed under the Act of 2016 for the academic year 2019-20, but by providing deduction of 15 per cent on that amount in lieu of unutilised facilities by the students during the relevant period of the academic year 2020-21. 

The court also said that if the management gets any individual request for a fee waiver, such cases should be heard and necessary actions must be taken on a case to case basis sympathetically.

The court also said that the school Management shall not withhold the name of any student/candidate for the ensuing Board examinations for Classes X and XII on the ground of non-payment of fee/arrears for the academic year 2020-21. 

The Director, Secondary Education, on April 09, 2020, directed private schools to defer the collection of school fees for a period of three months. The relief was then extended.