BHUBANESWAR: The issue related to school fee waiver got more complicated with the Supreme Courts stating the state government notification will not be applicable to ICSE and CBSE affiliated un-aided schools which were not signatory to the MoU. The government is now exploring legal options to implement its decision on school fee waiver in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are exploring various legal options available to make the fee waiver notification applicable to all schools. The decision was taken as per the order of the Orissa high court to provide financial relief to parents due to Covid-19,” school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said.
Parents in the state had moved the high court demanding fee waiver in the wake of Covid. As per high court’s order, stakeholders including parents, schools and the state government signed an MoU and proposed fee waiver ranging from 7.5% to 26% for private schools with different fee slabs. However, the Association of Odisha ICSE Schools and Federation of Private Schools, Odisha (FPSO) had challenged it in Supreme Court in a Special Leave Petition (SLP).
“As the association of Odisha ICSE Schools is not party to the MoU and as per the observation of Orissa high court made in the judgement on January 7, 2021, the directive of fee waiver is not applicable to the members of the association imparting ICSE course,” the Supreme Court order said.
Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha (OAM), the state-level parents’ association, urged the government to intervene in the matter and ensure that the notification is followed by the schools.