Pune: State Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad informed that a new set of guidelines will be issued soon for schools in the red zones. The state government had earlier allowed schools in green zones to reopen in order to start the academic year in phases across the state.
The state government has started the academic year from June 15 this year too. Schools in the green zone will restart but the number of students in a class would be half of the pre-COVID strength.
Schools have started organising online classes for students. Gaikwad spoke to mediapersons on several topics including reopening of all schools, guidelines for it and fee hike.
Gaikwad said, "The education department has already instructed that no school affiliated with any board should increase the school fee this year. This includes the CBSE and ICSE board schools too. We have issued a letter to the concerned board officials and they have responded positively to our request."
Schools in the state have started conducting online classes. Many parents and associations have demanded that, since the premises are closed, schools are saving on expenses like electricity, library and building maintenance on a large scale. Hence they should ideally lower the school fees, instead of increasing them.
Commenting on this issue, Gaikwad said, "Parents are demanding that schools should lower school fees by at least 10 to 20 per cent since they are saving on regular expenses. But according to the Fee Regulation Act, the Parent-Teacher Associations have the right to increase or decrease school fees. So the PTA and school management should come together and decide upon the school fees issue."
She informed, “Answersheet checking process was affected due to lockdown. Now that has started again and we are planning to declare results of 10th standard by mid-July. While conducting online classes, schools should follow guidelines issued by the education department. Any school in the state shall not increase the fee this year. All boards and their officials have been informed about this.”