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Private schools stay shut, Gujarat govt says its online classes will cover all students

The announcement followed a decision by the private schools’ association to suspend online classes till the GR was withdrawn.

Written by Ritu Sharma | Ahmedabad |
Updated: July 24, 2020 10:20:19 am
State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the government will cover all students from Class 3 to 12 through its online education programme under the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB). (File/Representational)

Even as the face-off between the Gujarat government and private school associations continued on Thursday over a government resolution (GR) preventing such schools from collecting fees for online classes, state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the government will cover all students from Class 3 to 12 through its online education programme under the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).

The announcement followed a decision by the private schools’ association to suspend online classes till the GR was withdrawn.

The Gujarat High Court will Friday hear a PIL challenging the decision of private schools to charge fees for online classes. On June 19, while hearing a similar plea, the court had said that it wanted the state government “to intervene and work out few modalities with the schools”.

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“Since self-financed schools have decided to stop all online classes, the state government will teach students from Class 3 till 12 in English and Gujarati medium,” said minister Chudasama, while the protesting schools were holding a meeting on the issue Thursday afternoon.

The protesting schools include those affiliated to Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Central Board of Secondary Education, International Baccalaureate, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, and International General Certificate of Secondary Education Cambridge University.

Chudasama said, “We already have learning material developed in Gujarati medium and the process has already started to cover English medium students. We are expecting to come out with this (study material) in 10 days.”

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When asked about the concerns of parents of students enrolled under boards other than GSHSEB, the minister said, “I am only responsible for my board and its students.”

He said necessary instructions have been passed on to the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) and GSHSEB.

“When the state government has failed to reach out to 80 per cent of government school students with its online education programme, how will it reach out to 70-80 lakh students of private schools,” said Bharat Gajipara, President of Gujarat Self Financed School Management Association.

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