– Mita Mukherjee
Kolkata: Owners of private schools in West Bengal on Friday urged the state government to allow them to reopen the institutions for conducting on-campus classes after the eight months closure due to Covid-19 pandemic within December 15.
Most private schools were ready with the standard operating procedures (SOP) for reopening the institutions and they were in a position to immediately resume the classroom teaching for students of classes IX to XII, Samit Ray, joint vice president of the newly formed West Bengal Private Schools’ Association said today. Ray is also the chairman of the Adamas Group of Institutions.
The association today wrote to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and state chief secretary requesting them to grant the permission to start on-campus classes, Samit Ray said.
According to Ray the association has sought an appointment with the chief minister this week to discuss among other issues, the measures the schools have taken to ensure safety of students for conducting the on-campus classes.
“ The schools are ready with the SOP. The health of our students is our primary concern. At the same time students of classes IX to XII, particularly those in X and XII must come back to the campuses immediately, latest by December 15. Those who will appear in the board exams next year are still not grown up enough to prepare themselves for the tests without attending the school. It will be difficult for them to write the board exams if they are not taught in class at least for the next few months before the final exams,” Samit Ray told EducationWorld today.
The SOP for reopening the schools are in tune with the guidelines of the ministry of home affairs of the Centre, said Ray who is coordinating with the state government on behalf of the association.
The association will also discuss with the state government about charging full fees from students whose guardians have not been financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“ Several schools have found that 60 per cent of their guardians have not faced salary cuts during the pandemic. But the management of all the schools had to waive minimum 20 percent of the tuition fees for all students. We need to discuss this with the state government and request parents to pay the full fees if they have not faced salary cut,” Ray said.
The owners of private schools had recently set up the new forum to work on a common platform to find out solutions to certain common problems like financial constraints due to non- payment fees by students and measures need to be taken for reopening their institutions for conducting on-campus classes.
The association has members from schools affiliated with all the three boards operating in the state including the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations that affiliates the ICSE/ISC schools, Central Board of Secondary Education and the state controlled West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
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