TODAY -

AMSU sticks to no fees stand
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 18 2020: The All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) has reiterated their demand for the Education Department to roll back the order which allowed private schools and Government aided schools to collect 30 percent tuition fees from students for the lockdown months.

Stating that the Government should instead provide financial assistance to schools to enable them to pay salaries of the teachers and non-teaching staff, AMSU's general secretary Bipinchandra Ahanthem said collecting fees from the students would put immense burden on the poor parents and guardians.

He was speaking at a discussion AMSU hosted on the theme "Fate of Private Schools in Manipur" at its office at DM College campus.

AMSU's advisor Thokchom Suresh and general secretary Bipinchandra Ahanthem attended the discussion as presidium members in the presence of private school teachers and guardians of students.

The meeting took several resolutions for the welfare of private school teachers and resolved to pressure the Government, school management authorities to take up proactive steps to give salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff of private schools.

The meeting also resolved to advise schools not to terminate teachers without proper prior notice and clarification from the teacher(s) concerned.

It then resolved to form a union or an umbrella organisation of all private school teachers in Manipur.

Lastly, the meeting resolved to appeal to the Government to effectively enforce the Manipur Private Schools (Registration & Regulations) Act, 2017 and enact an Act to regulate boarding and hostels.

At the gathering, AMSU's general secretary, Bipinchandra highlighted the difficulties people are facing due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the people in the State depend on agricultural activities for their income and survival.

Their economy has not yet recovered and people are still suffering the brunt of the months-long lockdown which had curbed all means of earning income, he said.

Amid the crisis, it was very unfortunate that the Education Department had issued an order allowing private and Government aided schools to collect 30 percent of the tuition fees from the students for the lockdown months starting April, he said adding collecting the fees for the non-working months is not reasonable.

However, he said AMSU supports the teachers' demand that their salaries for the lockdown months should be paid.

He clarified and opined that the schools had taken admission fees from the students prior to COVID-19 lockdown and it should be used to pay the teachers' salaries.

He further asserted that to know and understand the paying (salary) capacity of the schools, the Government had sought reports from the private schools showing their monthly income and expenditures.

However, most of the schools never submitted the report.

Only about 300 private schools had complied with the Government order and submitted their reports, he said.

The Government had earlier shown interest in providing financial assistance to schools which are genuinely not able to pay salaries to the teachers and non-teaching staff.

In line with this, the income and expenditure report, the Government sought from the private schools was very crucial, he said.

Reiterating AMSU's stand that the Education Department should roll back the order which allowed private and Government aided schools to collect tuition fees for the lockdown months, he suggested that the Government may provide financial assistance to the schools and give relief to both the parents of the students and the schools.


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