In a 96 page judgment, the Gujarat High Court has stated that the students whose parents can't afford to pay the school fee till June 30, will not be given a leaving certificate.
An unregistered parents association had filed a PIL in April in Gujarat High Court that there are schools who are asking for exorbitant school fee even when several schools are closed. Moreover, that even when the schools are operating online, there is a lot of other components of the fee which are being asked for.
"Part of the school fee also includes components like that of co-curricular activities, transportation fee, etc, the facilities of which is not even being used right now. What use is of transportation fee when students are not even leaving their homes?" said Naresh Shah, the petitioner and member of the Parents Association who had been protesting against unnecessary fee payments by schools.
The PIL had also stated that there are a lot of parents who have had their incomes slashed significantly and thus they would not be able to pay the school fee as per the due dates. The PIL also points out that many might have even lost their jobs, there would be loss of income as well for the parents. The association has also had a meeting with the Minister of Education for the Government of Gujarat, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.
The interim relief granted by Gujarat High Court is on late payment of fee. Also that there were several schools that were already doling out school leaving certificates for the students who were unable to pay the fee for respective reasons.
The next hearing for the same will be on July 17 where a more permanent solution will be brainstormed upon. According to sources, the associations and Bhupendra Singh Chudasama have had a meeting where they have been assured action and planning for both sides of the parties. The state government will also be filing a report with regards to the grievances of school authorities for their employees who need to be paid salaries etc. The association also claimed that there is a bifurcation of the parents that will be done with the help of the school's database. The bifurcation will be based on the professions of the parents to narrow down the parents who will need to be given exemption from the fee.