UP schools will stop offering online classes if they are not allowed to reopen

Nearly 250 educational institutions under the Unaided Private Schools Association (UPSA) have threatened to halt online classes and withdraw their support in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election process if the government of the State does not order the resumption of physical classes.

UPSA said it would wait until Feb. 6, after which it would halt all online classes. He objected to the state government’s decision on school closures saying that when all public places like parks, markets, stations and shopping malls are open then why schools should remain closed where Covid-19 safety standards are met.

The government had issued guidelines regarding the closure of all schools in Uttar Pradesh for offline classes from January 16 to 23. Later, the closure was extended until February 6 in view of the Covid-19 situation, and schools were asked to hold online classes.

“Government is calling students for various programs where Covid-19 safety protocol is ignored, so why is it not allowing schools to conduct classes on campus,” UPSA President Anil Agarwal asked. He said excessive government interference in the operation of private schools, whether it be raising fees, using school vehicles during elections or delaying the reimbursement of tuition fees to schools within the framework of the right to education, had a negative impact on the level of education.

“The government’s directive to schools not to increase fees will not be accepted. We will increase fees in accordance with the UP Fee Regulation Act,” he added.

Agarwal said the schools had to suffer huge financial losses due to the pandemics as several students left the schools. The UPSA fears that it will have to close its institutions if the state government does not allow them to raise fees.

Agarwal, chief executive of St Joseph Group of Institutions, said: “A large number of private schools in Uttar Pradesh have no choice but to close their schools if the state government does not allow them to increase fees and fully reopen from February 7.”

There was no salary review for our teachers and staff as schools were not allowed to raise tuition fees. This affects their performance. In these difficult times, a few member schools will be forced to close if the government does not let them raise fees for the third consecutive year.”

Gita Gandhi Kingdon, also president of the City Montessori School (CMS), said: “There has been no fee increase for three years. And it is difficult to refuse increases to teachers and staff who have worked during the pandemic.”

The UPSA said that efforts are being made by the schools to increase the voting percentage in the next assembly elections.

“But we will only do all this when schools are allowed to reopen from February 7,” Agarwal said.

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Published on: Thursday February 3 2022, 12:02 IST