Mysore/Mysuru: Even as confusion still prevails regarding the procedures to be followed for school re-opening, the city-based CBSE, ICSE and State Board Private School Managements Association (CISPMAM) has resolved to hold direct talks with the Government in a bid to clear all confusions.
The CISPMAM (covering schools in Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar districts) held a meeting at Manasarowar Pushkarini Vidyashrama in Vijayanagar second stage on Thursday during which a host of issues such as continuance of online classes, collection of school fees, unclarity regarding online and offline classes were discussed.
Addressing the meeting, CISPMAM President Sudhakar S. Shetty said that the abrupt stoppage of online classes would be a setback for learning. He pointed out that in the wake of the outbreak of a new strain of the deadly Coronavirus in United Kingdom, the Government should not show haste for re-opening of schools, taking into account the health and safety of school children. Regarding collection of fees and starting of physical classes, it has been decided to meet Primary and Secondary Education Minister to seek clarifications, he said.
Continuing, Sudhakar Shetty said that confusions remain on whether the guidelines issued by the Government is applicable for all schools, Government or private.
Noting that there is a lot of difference in the functioning of schools at districts such as Chamarajanagar, Kodagu and Mysuru as compared to the ones at Bengaluru, he regretted that the Government had failed to understand this.
Maintaining that it is not correct on the part of the Government to order continuance of online classes along with offline classes in the morning and afternoon, he said that bringing children to schools two times a day would be a daunting task for the parents, especially in this difficult time of COVID-19 crisis. Underlining the problems of school managements in the payment of salaries for teachers and other staff, he said teachers may seek a hike in salaries as they have to take both online and offline classes and a hike in wages is next to impossible in this critical situation. As such, it has been decided to seek clarifications from the Education Minister itself on the issue, he said.
Asserting that school managements are woefully short of funds due to non-collection of fees from January this year, Shetty said that there seems to be no way for school managements for cash inflows other than collecting fees in full from students. Hence this matter should be seriously taken up with the Minister, he pointed out.
Regretting that an organised malicious campaign has been launched against private schools, Sudhakar Shetty dismissed the media campaign that school managements were fleecing parents.
Condemning the organised campaign against private schools, he said that everyone should understand the reality that private schools are run by fees paid by students and not from any other grants.
He also lashed out at the BEOs of Mysuru district for entertaining RTE activists who are out to destroy private schools.
Naveen Rai of Hunsur’s Talent School said that the Government is framing rules that threaten the very existence of private schools. He expressed concern that with the Government introducing its ambitious ‘Vidyagama’ initiative, the students may think of leaving private schools and join Government schools.
Lingaraju of Vagbharathi School at Hosahundi, said that the schools are finding it extremely difficult to collect fees dues from defaulting students as the BEOs themselves are issuing Transfer Certificates (TC)online. The issuance of online Transfer Certificates has dashed the hopes of fee dues recovery as students need not come to them for seeking TCs.
CISPMAM Mandya District President Meera Shivalingaiah said that many girl school children from rural areas had got married during prolonged shut down of schools. She said that several private schools, worried about the absence of girl children for online classes, visited the villages, when it was learnt that a few child marriages had taken place.