A group of parents from different states has moved the Supreme Court to seek directions to the Centre and state governments to direct all private unaided/aided schools to not charge fees for April-July or till commencement of physical classes.
The petitioners also sought directions to the Centre and state governments to direct schools to only charge proportionate fee based on actual expenditure on online classes till the commencement of normal classes.
The parents also urged the court to issue directions that schools should charge only tuition fee until schools begin to function normally.
The plea said that since the students may get exposed to hazards associated with online education, there is a need for uniform and safer guidelines across the country in this regard.
"It is imperative to note that the doctrine of 'parens patriae' is applicable to the common people of the State who are indisputably the victims of this calamity and the Central and state governments being the guardians of its residents must assume the role of parents and take all necessary steps to protect the rights and interests of its citizens," said the plea.
The petitioners also sought total waiver of fees for students whose parents lost their jobs, sources of income, faced reduction in salaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown between March and July.
"It is not possible for each and every parent to supervise or provide an absolute attention to the behaviour of the students who would get access to the electronic devices with an Internet facility, they may be subjected to crimes like cyber-bullying, sexual exploitation, extortion etc, a consideration of the same also ought to be taken into account," they averred.