Views & Reviews
An Appeal to the ANPSA
Each new predicament stemming from various lockdown measures has been presented to both the teachers and the parents alike. Nowhere has the relationship between the teachers and the parents, between the animated schools and the dynamics of homes assumed greater significance than the current pandemic-induced crisis, especially in the field of teaching and learning.
The parents sincerely appreciate pace adoption of new dimensions in teaching whereupon the teachers are suddenly pressured to work, although never will our human limitation permit us to truly feel the pain and struggles the teachers exert in this new learning environment in educating our children. The noble endeavours of the teachers in devising ways and means to academically come to the rescue our children braving all odds need to be reckoned with.
Simultaneously, with free social mobility having restricted, schools closed and teaching materials (for students) passed to parents through various gadgets, the burden of parents all the more registered a rapid spike. The bulk of schools’ responsibility appeared to have been transferred and turned to the table of parents. Now, in a reverse of responsibility, the parents supervise children in making notes, guide them in writing virtual exams, provide them feedback in preparing projects and undertake necessary measures that the schools have generally been engaged with.
Here, the point is not all parents possess the wherewithal to meet the increasing price of essential items simultaneously with exaction of regular amount of schools’ tuition fees at a time when the prospect of earning dims and worse, loss of jobs surge. In addition, parents are obliged to tend to the academic needs of their children at the prime time of the day and are partially deprived of the opportunity to venture out and find jobs (to make a living). Some parents can manage, but most parents are hardly managing to stay afloat in these trying times.
Commissioning of online exams is an added burden to most of the parents. Parents are obligated to purchase smartphones (of lowest affordable range) for their wards to facilitate them to sit for online exams. This is so since sharing of smartphone is incapacitated as the regulated timing for examinations is the same for all the students with no alternative/shift available on the option. Purchasing data plan for sustained transaction of online classes and examinations cannot be overlooked in the parents’ struggle. Families nurturing more than three-four school-going children are sandwiched between clearing regular monthly tuition fees and purchasing smartphones with data plans for children in a sustained online learning process.
Having stated the plights of parents, the All Nagaland Private Schools Association (ANPSA) is fervently requested to rein in its constituent and affiliated educational establishments to consider remission of certain percentage of regular monthly tuition fees. As the academic burden of students is equally shared between the schools and parents, the ANPSA is expected to relieve the parents of their financial burden dedicated for payments of regular monthly tuition fees on the premise that the working days and time engaged for teaching by schools are at minimal engagement. The principle of fiscal responsibility – exaction of reasonable fees and spending proportionate to the activities performed – might find its applicability within private sectors too. Remission of regular tuition fees at 30% (fees reduced for 30%) will even come as a great relief for parents during a crisis. Solidarity between schools and parents need greater deep at this hour.
On behalf of all concerned and worrying parents.