Karnataka private schools must find solution to end fee standoff: Minister

1 month ago

MANGALURU: As the standoff between parents and private schools continues over 70% tuition fee for the academic year 2020-21, Suresh Kumar S, minister for primary and secondary education, labour and Sakala, said that the government has requested private schools to come up with a solution, and that their suggestions will be applied, if found favourable.

“The government will implement the decision of private schools, if it finds the solution favourable to the parents as well,” the minister said during an interaction with heads of high schools in Dakshina Kannada, on Saturday.

Jayamala, a private school teacher, expressed that her school situated in a rural area takes only Rs 6,500 fee per annum as fee, and is unable to run the show due to government diktat on 70% tuition fee. Suresh replying to her concern, said that the government implemented this rule not to target any private school. “Now we have decided to consider a solution put forth by private school association heads, to end the fee war,” he said. “We will implement the same, if the government finds that the suggestion is not burdening the parents,” he said, adding that private schools have filed a case in the high court, and the government is awaiting its decision. “The pandemic has created a trust deficit between parents and the managements of private schools. It should end as soon as possible,” he added.

‘Midday meals only after Centre permits it’

Suresh Kumar S, during the interaction, received a request from teachers, that midday meals must resume, which in turn will help students to learn better. The minister replied that the government is ready to start midday meals across the state anytime. “I am completely positive about reintroducing midday meals in schools. I have also written a letter to the Union government in this regard. However, we are waiting for a green signal from the central government, and directions on SOPs to be followed,” he said.

Teacher Ramakrishna Bhat requested the minister that marks for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities must be included in the SSLC exam. Teacher Prakash M from Sullia asked the minister to find some solutions to reduce examination pressure on students and teachers. “There is no joy of learning among students due to academic pressure and limited time,” he said.

Answering a question from Jayaram Rai K from Vittal, on the reopening of classes I to V, the minister said that the technical committee will meet soon and decide on the issue. “In fact, the government had decided to reopen classes I to V from Monday, but it was put on the back-burner, due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra,” said Suresh Kumar.

The minister also assured that mistakes during the valuation of answer papers will be reduced. A total 25 students who scored the highest marks in SSLC last year, as well as NTSE achievers, were felicitated on the occasion.

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