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Private schools act on threat, stop online class

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Private schools in Gujarat suspended their online classes for students from Thursday onwards. It is not clear when the classes will be resumed.

The school association had on Wednesday itself said that it will be ending online classes from Thursday onwards.

This is in protest against the education department’s order that asked private schools not to collect fees until they reopen.

The notification also asked schools not to hike fees for the academic year 2020-21.

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It should be noted that school in Gujarat began functioning only from July as the lockdown was in place.

Most of them have been teaching online

The union of self-financed schools in the state said that they can’t function sans any money.

Majority of the schools informed parents through SMS on Wednesday night that there will not be any online classes Thursday onwards.

Self-financed School Management Association’s spokesperson Dipak Rajyaguru on Thursday said almost all their members have stopped online classes.

“If the government believes online education is not real education, then there is no meaning imparting such unreal education to our students,” media quoted Rajyaguru as saying.

The union has said that online education will remain suspended until the government withdraws notification.

The union has also decided to move the high court against the state government’s decision.

Jatin Bharad, the vice-chairman of the association, said in the present scenario there is no alternative to online education.

Also Read: Private schools in Gujarat to stop online teaching

“Self-financed schools need to pay salaries to the teachers and other staff. No state in India has decided to bar schools from taking a fee for online education,” Bharad said.

He said if they were to adhere to the notification, it will be impossible for them to pay salaries.

What the notification said

The education department in Gujarat in a notification said schools cannot charge tuition fees from students for the period they remained closed.

The period includes the time the schools remained shut up to the time they reopen and begin functioning.

The education department in a release said that self-financed schools also cannot increase the fee on their own.

It said actual teaching and non-teaching expenses incurred by the school during lockdown will be considered by the Fee Regulatory Committee.

This expense will be considered by the committee while deciding the fee for the upcoming year for the schools.

The education department said in case advance fee was paid, schools need to adjust it against the rest of the fee for the year.