The Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Ram Singh had convened a meeting with the Officials of Education Department and Heads of Government and Private Schools and Colleges to discuss matters regarding school and hostel fees of government, government aided and private due to lockdown of Covid-19 at DRDA Conference Hall, Tura yesterday evening. Joint Director, School Education and Literacy, West Garo Hills, P Ryngksai, District School Education Officer, C J Sangma, Principal Tura Government College, Terence D Marak, Principal, Don Bosco College, Reverend Fr. Bivan Mukhim, Heads of Institutions of Tura Urban area both government and private attended the meeting.
During the meeting the Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh briefed that in view of the prevailing situation due to the spread of Novel CoronaVirus (Covid-19) and post lockdown, but opening of schools and colleges are still restricted and the Government of Meghalaya had issued new Order with regard to the fee structure and collection of fees in the schools and colleges. In this regard, he informed that the State Government had issued an Order to maintain Status Quo of all fees which have to be maintained from the last academic year 2019 to 2020 for the year 2020-2021 in all institutions. Moreover, as per the order, collecting tuition fees are not allowed from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families or those directly impacted by the lockdown which led to the loss of their livelihood in Government, Government Aided, Deficit and Deficit Pattern institutions for the months of March, April and May, 2020.
Further, the order also stated that there should be 50 % reduction of school/ college fees for children from BPL or those who lost their livelihood during the furlong period of lockdown studying in Unaided or purely private institutions for the month of April and May, 2020 and no other fees shall be collected except tuition fees in all institutions for the months of March, April and May, 2020 from all students and in case where institutions have collected in advance the same may be adjusted in the subsequent months.
Meanwhile, he also informed that all the Government, Government Aided and privately owned hostels in the State of Meghalaya are directed to cease and desist from charging rent from students during the period of lockdown beginning from April, 2020 till further order and if any proprietor is found violating the instant directions, he/she shall be liable for action under the provisions of Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and under the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulations framed thereunder.
With regard to the ongoing online classes, he said that those schools conducting online classes are doing well in spite of various challenges including connectivity issues especially in rural areas. Apart from online class, he advised the teachers to instruct and guide the students to read and learn by themselves from text books regularly and ensure that assignments are done properly adding that those having elder or younger siblings to teach and learn from each other as required.