Kerela High Court Restrains Schools From Levying Additional Fees for Conduct of Virtual Classes

The Kerela High Court has restrained certain schools from levying additional fees for conducting virtual classes amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Citing provisions from the Indian Constitution, specifically Right to Education, the Court held it to be sacrosanct to the Constitution. Justice CS Dias passed the interim order and referred the case to a Two-Judges Bench citing substantial public interest.

Paradigm Shift

Amongst many, education is one of the fields to have suffered a setback during this Covid-19 pandemic. With schools and educational institutions closed, progressing with the curriculum has proven to be quite a task. However, the method of education imparting has shifted from brick and mortar rooms to virtual classes.

Institutes are conducting online lectures for students at various levels of education. Consequently schools have to conduct classes at a cost to them. To cover such costs, some schools in Kerela had levied additional fees on children, citing the current method of teaching. The Petitioners argued that certain States and Union Territories had already implemented policies that forbade educational institutions from levying any additional fee for conducting online classes.

Adding to this woe, the Court also noted the death of a student, who committed suicide due to difficulties in accessing the virtual classes. The child had been unable to get proper access to the internet, an issue that’s still in the process of being fixed.