Published: 30th June 2021
Madras HC orders TN Govt to respond on schools denying online classes for students who were unable to pay fees
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, admitted the plea and ordered the State to file a detailed response within four weeks
The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government on a plea alleging private schools are not sharing links to online classes with students who haven't yet paid their fees.
Petitioner K Mahendran, an advocate, sought for the court to direct the School Education department to form a committee of experts to find an alternative way to increase the efficiency of online education, and to fix a nominal fee structure for this academic year. He also said that considering the situation caused by the pandemic, parents should be given time to clear the fee arrears this academic year.
He also alleged that with several schools already commencing online classes, some are denying access to students due to fee arrears from the previous academic year. Some students haven't been given books since they didn't pay the fees, he added.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, admitted the plea and ordered the State to file a detailed response within four weeks.
Schools were allowed to reopen in June for admissions and parents had complained about being asked to pay the full fees despite government regulations. In response, School Education Department officials said that action will be taken against any school that forces parents to pay the full fees.
While the Madras High Court, in view of the lockdown last year, ruled that schools can collect only 75 per cent of the fees in two installments for the academic year 2020-21, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on had also told reporters that schools must follow the same this year too. He said, "They must continue to follow the court rules and collect only up to 75 per cent of the fees in two parts."
It was unclear if an official order would be issued by the government on the matter. Poyyamozhi however added that action will be taken against schools that do not follow these regulations.