January 20, 2021 12:30:31 pm
As schools across Telangana are scheduled to open from February 1 for students of class 9 and above, parents and private schools’ management registered their concerns during a meeting with Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy Tuesday.
Apart from raising long pending issues of school fee regulation, representatives of the Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) requested the minister to ensure that all teaching and non-teaching staff in schools are tested for coronavirus infection, before commencing classes.
Parents told the minister that children would be more prone to the virus and their safety would be at risk if physical classes are started. Responding to this, the minister told them that physical classes will not be mandatory. If parents are unwilling to send their children to schools, they can continue with online classes. She assured parents that physical attendance will not be mandatory and that the students will not be detained for shortage of attendance.
Meanwhile, submitting the concerns of budget private schools in Telangana, the representatives of Telangana Recognised School Managements Association (TRSMA) requested the state government to treat teaching and non-teaching staff in schools as frontline warriors and administer them COVID-19 vaccine on a priority basis for the safety of children. They requested the government to sanitise private schools on par with government schools, in the absence of a specific budget for the purpose.
The private schools’ management represented by its president Y Shekhar Rao and general secretary S Madhusudhan requested the government to extend the current academic year till July 31 and release a comprehensive academic calendar. They sought permission for students of class 1 to 8 to visit the school for submission of assignments for corrections and clarification of doubts till the schools re-open. They also sought online or physical attendance to be made mandatory, while promotions for students of class 1 to 8 to their next classes be based on their performance in Summative Assessments.
K Venkat Sainath, joint secretary, HSPA informed the minister that private schools are removing students on the pretext of shortage of attendance in online classes. “The minister has assured that she would speak to the DGP and request him to look into the issue and also register cases against private schools that are violating rules. The HSPA has also requested the minister to decide a percentage of fee reduction given the pandemic and a loss of income of parents and decide the fee to be paid in proportion to the salaries and rents paid by the private schools,” said the HSPA’s statement.
The parents also sought the minister’s intervention in directing the private schools to provide them with a break-up of fees collected by them instead of showing the entire fee collected as a tuition fee.
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