Directorate of Education, Delhi Government, has issued clear directions to the private and unaided schools in Delhi to not to violate the provisions of Delhi School Education Act and Rules, as well as the regulations laid down by both the Central and State Governments in light of the COVID19 pandemic.
The DoE has prohibited private schools from increasing the school fee for the academic year 2020-21, as well as, from asking the payment of quarterly fees at once.
The private schools are also directed to not to withhold or deduct the salaries of the teaching staff. Moreover, these schools cannot withhold access to online classes and teaching materials from parents who are unable to pay fees due to financial constraints.
DoE took cognisance of this issue in light of prevailing circumstances and the guidelines issued by the State Government under Delhi Epidemic Diseases COVID19 Regulations 2020, Epidemic Diseases Act, and the nationwide lockdown, imposed by the Central Government under the Disaster Management Act.
It was brought to the notice of DoE that some private schools are violating mandatory provisions of section 17(3) of the Delhi School Education Act. These schools did not take the prior permission of the Directorate before going forward with the fee hike, despite them being operated on DDA land.
In addition to this, some schools have started charging fees from students under various new heads which is in violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court.
'All private and unaided schools, being charitable trusts/societies, are supposed to indulge in charity, especially when they're engaged in the noble field of providing education to the society. Accordingly they're also supposed to extend their maximum support to those parents who are in financial distress at the moment and are unable to pay the fees', the order highlights.
The attention is also given to Rule 165 of the DSEAR which clearly states that parents are supposed to pay fees within ten days of the school reopening after the long vacation.
Moreover, DoE also took cognisance of the fact that due to the early closure of schools in light of the lockdown, the expenditure on co curricular activists, sports, transportation, and other developmental activities have almost become nil.
In light of this, the private and unaided schools are directed to charge only the tuition fee, and no other fee except that, till further orders. Tuition fee can only be demanded on the monthly basis, and not quarterly.
Moreover, no school can increase the fee, irrespective of the fact that whether it is established on DDA land or not, till further orders are passed.
It is further directed that schools running on DDA/Any Other Agency land, can only charge tuition fee on the basis of fee structure approved by the DoE in 2015-16, as per fee statement filed under section 17(3) of DSEAR.
Schools are hereby directed to provide access to online classes/materials to all the students without act discrimination. Access to such facilities cannot be withheld from parents who are unable to pay the fees due to financial crisis arising out of closure of business activities due to ongoing lockdown.
In addition to this, the schools are prohibited from creating any new head of fees, and from withholding or deducting the salaries of both the teaching and the non teaching staff.
Any school violating these directions will be penalised under relevant provisions of DSEAR, IPC well as section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act - which provides for imprisonment upto 1 year, in case of non compliance of government orders.
Click Here To Download Order