DELHI GOVERNMENT ISSUES DIRECTIONS AGAINST MALPRACTICES OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS DURING COVID19 PANDEMIC
The Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of #Delhi has recently issued an #Order dated 17-04-2020 against the following #malpractices and unprofessional conduct of certain private unaided #schools of Delhi:
1- The Delhi Government noticed that some private unaided schools have arbitrarily increased the #schoolfees for the Academic Session of 2020-21, without taking into consideration the unfavorable conditions prevailing in the society, due to the #Covid19 outbreak and the #Lockdown situation.
2- The said schools have failed to take prior approval of the Director (Education), Delhi, before increasing the school fees and demanding a lump sum as an advance payment.
3- Further, the private unaided schools have also refused to provide access to online learning materials to students, until parents pay the illegally increased school fees.
4- The said schools are either paying less or no #salaries to their teaching and non-teaching staff, during the ongoing Lockdown situation.
The Delhi Government made the following observations in this regard:
1> That several businesses/professions have ceased to work, in order to meet the #socialdistancing norms of the Covid19 crisis. Thus, some parents are unable to pay the illegally increased school fees of their wards.
2> That the schools have violated the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and Rules thereof, by demanding school/tuition fees in advance.
3> That the teaching and non-teaching staff of such schools is facing severe financial difficulties, due to the non-payment of full salaries.
4> That the private unaided schools are under direct control of charitable societies or trusts. Therefore, they should indulge in charity, and not in profiteering.
5> That the private unaided schools are capable of arranging funds for salaries, and curricular activities, as there would be no expenditure on co-curricular and sports activities, transportation and other development related activities.
6> That the Government is empowered by the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, Covid19 Regulations 2020, to take all such measures that are required to contain or prevent the spread of a dangerous epidemic disease, and that are to be observed by the public or any class of person.
Therefore, the Delhi Government directed all private unaided schools of Delhi to collect only the pre-fixed amount of school/tuition fees from parents, provide online learning materials to all students without any discrimination, and to, further, pay the fixed monthly salary to its entire teaching and non-teaching staff. Further, in case of failure to comply with these directions, the concerned person shall be #punished with #imprisonment of one year, extendable to 2 years, or with #fine, or with both.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer