The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed private schools in West Bengal to reduce the tuition fees by 20 per cent for the COVID-19 pandemic period. As per the court's directive, the schools have been asked not to charge fees under the non-academic head.
The court's order will be applicable for all non-government aided schools in the state. The directive came following a PIL filed by a guardians’ forum of nearly 145 schools in Kolkata and its surrounding areas.
A three-member committee was also constituted by the court to look into all the matters related to school fees and other grievances, in case the schools don’t follow the directive in terms of granting relief as appealed by the guardians’ forum.
Those guardians who need more relief (more than as directed by the court) in terms of tuition fees will have to approach their children’s schools individually.
Earlier, in May, 2020, a petition was filed in the Calcutta High Court seeking directions to the Bengal government to regulate the fee structure of unaided private schools. Following which, State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had requested all private schools not to increase fees due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The petitioner had further requested the court to direct the West Bengal government to ensure that no late fines should be charged and no additional fees should be imposed on guardians during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
They also pleaded before the court to intervene so that no student’s name should be struck off because of late payment of fees.