Schools in Noida and Greater Noida may collect fees but cannot increase it during the 2020-21 academic year, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration said today, warning of imposing up to Rs 5 lakh as fine against those violating rules. The schools also cannot take action any student for not paying the fees or deny them online classes during the coronavirus-induced lockdown period, the administration said in an order.

The order made it clear that schools will have to pay their teachers during the lockdown period and not charge any transportation cost from the students.

The administration has cited orders of the Uttar Pradesh government as it issued the statement related to operations of schools during the lockdown, which came into force on March 25 across the country.

Schools and colleges have already been closed, among other activities, in Noida and Greater Noida with an objective to prevent the novel virus from spreading.

“The schools can collect fess during the lockdown period. The schools have to pay salaries to their teachers during the period but cannot increase fees for the academic year 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20,” the administration said.

“Schools cannot charge transport cost during lockdown as the state government has waived transport fees for the period of lockdown/till schools closed,” it stated.

“The schools cannot force any parent/guardian of a student to make advance payment of fees or quarterly during the lockdown period,” it stated, citing a government order which said “instead of quarterly fees, schools will take fees on monthly basis.”

“Schools cannot disenroll any student for not paying fees during the lockdown period and also cannot deny online classes to any students,” the order stated.

The administration said a penalty of Rs 1 lakh will be levied on a school for contravention of any orders for the first time and it will go up to Rs 5 lakh the second time by the District Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) as per the UP Self-Financed Institutions (Fee Regulation) Act, 2018.

“On contravention of the provisions for the third time, (the DFRC) may recommend withdrawal of recognition/affiliation of Board concerned, in addition to withdrawal of permission of developmental fund for a certain period as may be decided by it,” it added.