Manipur Education department on Tuesday issued an order instructing all private schools and aided schools in the state to collect 30 percent of tuition fees from parents of the students for the period of closure of schools, from April 2020.
T. Ranjit Singh, commissioner of education (s) also ordered school authorities to pay 50 percent of the monthly salary to the teachers and staff.
Under any circumstances, the amount of tuition fees to be collected shall not exceed 50 percent of the payable monthly fee. The salary of the staff and teachers should not be below 50 percent of the payable monthly salary, the commissioner said in the order.
However, the All Manipur Student’s Union (AMSU), one of the powerful student bodies of Manipur, has threatened to launch an agitation if the department fails to revoke the new order by October 8.
Bruce Pebam, HRD secretary AMSU, said that there have been several rounds of meeting between student bodies, civil society organisations and the former education Minister on issues pertaining to the collection of school fees. Subsequently, the department issued an order asking schools not to collect tuition fee from students citing the closure of schools due to the pandemic, said Bruce Pebam. Moreover, in line with the consensus, the Manipur Commission for Child Rights also issued similar order.
Pebam questioned the logic behind the issuance of new order with the induction of new ministers in total disregard to collection decision taken earlier.
“AMSU will not accept the new order at any cost. We are prepared to fight”, warned the HDR secretary of AMSU.
Tuesday order, however, comes as a sigh relief for private schools who had protested an earlier order of the department asking them (schools) to waive tuition fee but pay 50 percent salary of the teachers. The aggrieved private schools under the aegis of United Association of Recognised Schools of Manipur (UARSoM) and Hill District Private School Association Manipur (HiDiPSAM) threatened to re-open schools in the state without the government’s approval so that they could abide by the Government order. Prior to this, the HiDiPSAM had already stopped online classes in the hill districts demanding the revocation of the earlier order.
Tuesday order issued by the commissioner also instructed the private schools to encourage and continue online distance learning to the extent possible.
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