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COVID, CURRENCY, CONTROVERSY: THE SCHOOL FEES

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Abstract

The COVID 19 has a worldwide effect, and in wake of this lockdown was the solution not for a particular country but the world as a whole. It had not only affected the health sector but had affected the economy of many developing and developed nations to a great extent.

From telecommunication to transport, and from aviation to education every known sector of the economy got affected. Education the sector which got affected in terms of standard of education, as an online medium was the only option we were left with and secondly in monetary terms and this had led to several controversies and case fillings.

COVID’19- AN ECONOMIC SHOCK

The breakout of COVID-19 has affected the whole economy. The global recession may return in most horrific appearance, this had brought disruptions in supply chain management which had affected several countries badly. The Indian economy was already showing a downward trend in comparison to the fiscal year 2018-19 from approx. 8% to 4.5%, the world pandemic outbreak has attacked India in a highly disadvantageous time.

The GDP growth had crashed by 23.9% in response to the lockdown. India’s GDP shrank 7.3% in 2020-21. This was the worst performance of the Indian economy in any year since independence. The Indian economy was facing headwinds much before the arrival of the second wave. With the hamartia crises and silent treatment of the government, the COVID-19 has exposed and worsened existing inequalities in the Indian economy.

In the wake of COVID-19, the rupee weakened sharply, crossing 75 levels as the RBI’S dovish stance was seen diverging from the stand taken by central banks of other emerging countries. A lot of traders were expecting the rupee to appreciate had built up a lot of carrying trades but post the policy release, but the situation went to the other side, as the portfolio investors chose to unwind some of these positions which lead to a depreciation in the currency.

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COVID-19- IMPACT ON EDUCATION

While COVID-19 is primarily affected public health, spillover effects can already be observed in education, stemming largely from extended school closures. By current World Bank information gathering, approx. 150 countries were reporting school closures and such huge closures have impacted over one billion students. Despite the low rates of infection among children, school closure area critical pillar of the social distancing tools to mitigate the spread of the virus and avoid the acceleration of cases.

The extended interrupted education that disengages students from the learning process has the protentional cost of reversing gains in learning. In some places school feeding is the norm, closed schools might preclude students from getting school meals unless alternative arrangements are in place. The long closure of school could result in an increased risk of dropout for youth, particularly from lower-income groups. School closings also impact labour supply as they increase the burden on parents. 

Several complicated considerations have risen during COVID times, including the uneven quality of learning, differences in the provision of effective distance learning, and other several pressures that will come to bear on some children, such as the need to find work and many more. It is assumed that every additional year of schooling equates to 10% in additional future earnings.

The scale of economic damage is likely already stored up due to lost learnings indicates the care with which government should plan their steps to overcome these losses. The impact on children and young people seems more likely to take the form of a long crisis rather than a short shock.

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SCHOOL FEES- CONTOVERSY

The COVID-19 pandemic has bought significant economic ramifications across sectors owing to lockdowns imposed over the past fifteen months. And the education sector is no exception, with students having no option but to make arrangements to attend online classes as schools remain shut.

In the early days after the national wide lockdown was declared, and after schools began conducting online classes, several state governments including those of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh relaxation in school fees. But parents of students continued to receive fee statements from schools despite such government orders. There were many instances of harassment as schools even increased fees amid the pandemic.

Several pleas were filled regarding online classes and fees in Supreme Court; however, the apex court declined all such pleas, stating that these needed to be addressed by respective High Courts as different states face different challenges. This in turn led to a plethora of litigation in high court across the nation.

In April 2020, the Tamil Nadu government issued a notification barring forcible payment of school fees during COVID-19. The Madras High Court directed that a scheme be formulated for payment of school fees in instalments to balance the interest of schools and aggrieved parents amid the pandemic, and to this government proposed a scheme for payment of 75% of tuition fees in three instalments and remaining once the schools reopen. In the case filed by private institutions against government order, the government further allowed them to collect 40% of tuition fees as advance and remaining in the upcoming 2 months.

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Gujrat government released a circular completely barring collection of fees but then the Gujrat High Court quashed this circular and ordered the state government to consult with unaided private school representatives to arrive at an amicable solution.

Every high court of respective states was dealing with such cases and was giving various directions and orders. In the most recent case before the High Court, public interest litigation (PIL) was filed for a 50% reduction in school fees on the same lines as the case discussed in various filled cases. It was contended that fees demanded facilities not utilized y students would be considered as profiteering.

CONCLUSION

This COVID time had affected all the sectors very hard and in various ways, and it is required from all to cope up with this and find desirable solutions instead of creating chaos. This lockdown had depreciated the value of the currency and even GDP, along these various other issues had also been there, like along with economy the education standard had also depreciated and somehow had decreased the chances of bright future of the present generation. Time had bought us this situation and with time we all will overcome this situation.

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