Schools in Manipur may reopen by July end or mid-August, says education minister

Th Radheshyam said many parents have complained that private schools have closed the admission process of class XI.

Schools in Manipur are most likely to reopen by July end or mid-August, state Education Minister Th Radheshyam said on Monday.

Schools and colleges across the state were shut down in mid-March when the nationwide lockdown was enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19. As the time for the new session draws closer, many parents have indeed been wondering when the schools will be reopened in the state.

“We are trying to help all students who passed their HSLC get admissions to class XI. Even though the admissions are complete, it depends on COVID-19 situation to reopen schools or not. General public as well as parents' suggestions or comments are highly required to bring about a solution to the issue”, the education minister said.

Th Radheshyam was speaking to the media during a press meet held at SSA conference hall on Monday. The minister said many parents have complained that private schools have closed the admission process of class XI. He appealed to the private schools not to close admission now as many students were yet to begin application of the same.

He informed that there are over 1,000 private schools in Manipur and many of these schools have been performing well in the last 30 years. They have been providing quality education resulting in high enrollment. During the period of closure of schools, some pertinent issues have been raised. Learning levels of students would be affected due to this lockdown. Salaries of teaching or non-teaching staff in private schools are not given and the academic calendar has also been affected, Radheshyam said.

To meet the solution, a series of events are being held by state government and stakeholders along with private schools. These events primarily discussed the difficulties faced by the parents of students, teachers and non-teaching staff in private schools, the minister added.

Th Radheshyam mentioned that private schools are dependent on the number of enrolment and amount of fees collected during admissions and monthly tuition fees for disbursing the salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff. “So, salaries of staff (teaching or non-teaching) for the months of April to July shall be given according to norms that schools with enrollment less than 200 should pay 50 per cent (payment may be made after the lockdown is over). Schools with enrollment of 200 to 700 should pay 50 per cent. Schools with enrollment above 700 should pay full salary to teachers and non-teaching staff”, he said.

No school should hike the fee for the year 2020-21. Admission fees and fees up to March can be collected in full without revision. Monthly school fees (including tuition fee under any nomenclature) up to the month of March may be collected by schools without any hike in amount. Monthly fees from April to July should not be taken by the schools. Further notice will be announced for August, the minister said.

Those schools which have collected fees for April to July then shall be adjusted with subsequent months in future, he added. The education department has been asking schools to submit relevant information based on enrolment, fee structure etc. But out of 1,226 private schools in the state, 381 schools have submitted and 845 have not submitted, till yet, Th Radheshyam informed.

Further, a large seminar will be conducted based on the situation of COVID-19 impact on schools and students, he added. People's suggestions or comments are sought for bringing solutions to problems in education arising out of COVID-19 related lockdown, the minister added.

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First Published:June 22, 2020, 8:23 p.m.