Get-hooked June 1, 2020
In a landmark move, Allahabad High Court issues notice to waive fees of disabled kids
A petition was filed in Allahabad High Court by parents of a child with autism regarding his school asking for fees in spite of the boy not attending online classes during lockdown. The court issued a notice asking all CBSE schools to waiver off fees for disabled children for disabilities that have been earmarked under RPWD Act, 2016.
For many children with disabilities, the lockdown has definitely been difficult. Those with neuro developmental disabilities are searching in the dark on how to pursue their education through online classes which are not easy for many of them. Recently, the Allahabad High Court issued a notice on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to all CBSE schools to waiver off fees for children with disabilities of those that have been earmarked under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
A much needed notice
Rakesh* (name has been changed) is a student under the autism spectrum disorder. He is currently studying in class three at Amit International School in Lucknow. Recently his father filed a PIL at the court. Reportedly, Rakesh has been unable to attend online classes due to his developmental disorder. He is also undergoing therapies for the same.
The ongoing classes have been tough on him and he has not attended most of it. But since last March, his school authorities have been regularly sending messages to Rakesh’s parents asking them to give fees at the earliest.
According to the petition submitted by Rakesh’s parents, there are thousands of children with different disabilities across Lucknow. TMany are unable to attend online classes due to their condition. Demanding fees from such children is an act that must be punishable. Moreover, this system does not provide inclusive education either.
The matter was taken up by Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal & Justice Saurabh Lavania through video-conferencing. Notices have been issued to the school authorities through e-mail, WhatsApp and messages.
Parents definitely cheer for this latest notice from the high court. It is high time that school officials and syllabuses become more sensitive towards needs of disabled children.
Archana Patil, who is the mother of a youngster under the autism spectrum disorder is part of many parent support groups. She says, “Parents who have children with autism have many expenses. They have to pay for the child’s therapies. Apart from that some children have shadow teachers too. So huge amounts of school fees will be too much. So some exceptions must be provided to parents”.
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