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"Education Should Never Be Compromised": Gujarat High Court Directs Govt. To Ensure That No Child Drops Out Due To Inability To Pay Fees

Sparsh Upadhyay
3 Feb 2021 1:53 PM GMT
Education Should Never Be Compromised: Gujarat High Court Directs Govt. To Ensure That No Child Drops Out Due To Inability To Pay Fees
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While noting that Education is something which should never be compromised, the Gujarat High Court recently directed the State Government to ensure that the inability to pay the fees should not compel the parents to stop providing education to their children. It may be noted that the Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J. B. Pardiwala had taken up a public interest...

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While noting that Education is something which should never be compromised, the Gujarat High Court recently directed the State Government to ensure that the inability to pay the fees should not compel the parents to stop providing education to their children.

It may be noted that the Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J. B. Pardiwala had taken up a public interest litigation (on its own motion) based on a survey done by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad) and UNICEF Gujarat.

Significantly, the survey revealed various problems and hardships faced by many households during the period of lock-down, more particularly, the hardship that was caused on account of the sudden stoppage of the mid-day-meals in the Government schools.

While taking suo motu cognizance of this survey, the Bench last month issued notice to the Principal Secretary, Education Department, Government of Gujarat and Commissioner, Mid-day Meal Schemes, State of Gujarat.

In response to the aforesaid, the State Government filed a detailed report in the form of an affidavit.

The said report contained the data regarding Mid-Day Meal Distribution, efforts made by the State for the On-line Learning and measures taken by the State towards reduction of the school fees.

Having considered the report, the Court proposed to close the litigation while observing,

"By accepting the report of the State Government and closing this litigation, we do not want to convey that the survey carried out by the IIM-A and the UNICEF, Gujarat, was not correct. On the contrary, we appreciate the joint efforts put in by the IIM-A and UNICEF, Gujarat, in this regard and it is only on account of their survey and the article published in the Indian Express newspaper that this Court came to know about the hardships and the problems that few families had to face during the period of lock-down."

Further, the Court also appreciated the efforts put in by the State Government to ease the hardships of various families during the period of lock-down

Lastly, the Court observed,

"It is possible that the help rendered by the Government might not have reached to few families. This is what the survey talks about. The Government should pay due attention to such genuine cases and try to render assistance in all possible manner."

Case title - Suo Moto v. State Of Gujarat, through The Principal Secretary & 1 other(s)

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