Parents finding it difficult to pay the fee of their wards in private unaided schools on a quarterly basis can now approach the school principal with a request to accept monthly fee, and the same can be decided on compassionate grounds so that no student is affected by non-payment of quarterly fee, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday.
The Association of Private Unaided Recognized Schools also assured the court that no student would be thrown out of the school for non-payment of quarterly fee.
The Association of Public Schools and Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools, through senior advocate Maninder Singh, submitted before a Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed that all schools which are members of the association would accept monthly payment of tuition fee from students who find it difficult to make quarterly payments due to financial difficulties.
“For this purpose, all parents may approach the head of the school concerned. When such a request is made, the principal shall deal with the same compassionately and reasonably so that no student is adversely affected for non-payment of quarterly,” the Bench said.
The Division Bench also set aside the 2013 order of the single judge barring private schools in the city from charging fee for three months and that under the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, parents are entitled to pay monthly fee by 10 of every month.
The single judge had passed the order on the plea of 10 parents whose wards were studying in Summerfield School and had urged the court to end the practice of schools collecting quarterly fee.
It was this order against which the schools had moved an appeal before the Division Bench.
The Bench remitted the matter before the single judge saying he had failed to consider whether it is the school administration or the government which is to decide the fee and other charges to be collected by private schools.
The Bench also noted that the Directorate of Education had clearly stated in its counter-affidavit that rules concerning fixing the fee under Delhi School Education Act refer to only government aided schools despite which the single judge reached a contrary view that it applies to unaided schools as well.
Ashok Aggarwal, the advocate representing the aggrieved parents, submitted before the Bench that “schools cannot insist a parent to pay more than a month’s fee.”