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Schools dependent on fees can collect amount: Suresh Kumar

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar said here on Tuesday that the State government has issued clear instructions to all schools and colleges against hiking fees this academic year on humanitarian grounds.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Mr. Suresh Kumar said that the instructions have been issued in the wake of the COVID-19 situation.

Schools have been directed not to collect fees till further orders but some schools are dependent on fees to pay salaries to teachers. Hence, such schools have been told to accept fees from only well-to-do parents and this amount should be used only for payment of salaries for teachers. Help desks have been opened at Block Education Offices and parents can approach these officials if any school brings pressure asking them to pay fees, he added.

On Right to Education seat fee reimbursement, the Minister said that some private schools have approached the State government asking it to clear the RTE fee reimbursement for the last two years. A sum of ₹ 1,040 crore fee reimbursement is pending with the government. To protect the interest of such schools, the government may release the first instalment shortly, he added.

On reopening of schools, Mr. Kumar said that the government has decided to hold parents meeting in every school on June 10, 11 and 12 to invite suggestions from them on restarting schools. A comprehensive report on suggestions made by parents would be given to the Union government in July to take a final decision in the matter. Some academics and parents have suggested that high schools can be started on shift basis or on alternate days after August. But, the government has not given its commitment to any of these suggestions, he added.

On the appointment of PU lecturers, Mr. Suresh Kumar said that a notification to appoint new lecturers was issued in 2015 and in 2018, examinations were conducted. The results were announced in 2019. The process of documentation of certificates of those selected has started and counselling would begin on June 18 after which the appointment orders will be issued, he said.

About preparations for SSLC examinations, he said that all preventive measures have been taken in the designated examination centres to ensure the safety of students. Bharat Scouts and Guides and Indian Red Cross Society have taken the responsibility of providing two sets of masks to every student.

This apart, thermal scanners will be installed in every examination centre and every student will be screened before he is allowed to enter the exam hall. If any student is sick, he will be allowed to write the exams in isolation. Each one of the examination centres will have two rooms isolated for such candidates, he said.

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