Opposition Congress stages walkout on school fee waiver issue

Published: Sep 24, 2020, 4:24 pm IST

Gandhinagar: The opposition Congress on Thursday staged a walkout from the Gujarat state assembly’s house proceedings over the long-standing issue of school fee waiver.

The five day monsoon session of the Gujarat state assembly is on its fourth day. The working committee of the house has allowed to short note notice questions in the half hour question time.

When the second question put up by Khadia legislator, Imran Khedawala came into discussion, the duration of the question hour was almost over. Khedawala’s question to the government was that during the times of pandemic, what had the Gujarat government done to reduce the burden of school fees on the parents and how much reduction was decided by the government?

The written reply by the government to Khedawala, was that the entire matter of school fee issue was subjudice and is in the Gujarat High Court.

The opposition reiterated the question put up by Khedawala, but speaker of the house, Rajendra Trivedi continued with the agenda of the working of the house which infuriated the Congress Party and they walked out of the house chanting ‘Waive off School fees.’

“We had asked two questions in the Assembly today in the question hour. One was how many people benefited from the 14000 crore package announced by the Gujarat government during the pandemic, which the government did not have any answer to. Our second question was during the pendency, economic slowdown and other natural disasters, what had the government decided on the fee school fee waiver, which was put up by Imran Khedawala. During the time of crisis like this pandemic, Fee Mafias are exploiting the situation. We were expecting from the government to declare a reduction in school fees. Instead of answering the question the speaker of the house decided to carry on the remaining agenda of the house,” said Paresh Dhanani, the Leader of Opposition Party (LOP).

“The Congress has been demanding a total waiver of school fees during the times of pandemic. If our demands are not met with and the schools fee not waived off during this pandemic, we will extend this agitation and take it down to the streets and in all the villages of the state. the government is trying to gag the voice of the public by gagging the voice of the opposition in the house,” added Dhanani.

“The school fee subject is an important one but the time did not allow a detailed discussion in the house. The Congress wants to politicise this issue. The government wants an amicable solution to this and it’s trying its best for that. The Gujarat High Court had ordered this issue to be resolved amicably, satisfying every stakeholder. The Gujarat government, at it’s earliest, have a meeting with the school administrators and authorities and and come to a conclusion. We don’t want to politicise this issue and it shouldn’t be. The government will shortly come out with a decision on it,” said Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, the Education Minister.