ANPSA Appeals To Government For Direct Benefit Transfer For Needy Parents - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

ANPSA appeals to government for Direct Benefit Transfer for needy parents

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By EMN Updated: Jun 18, 2020 3:43 pm

Dimapur, June 18 (EMN): The All Nagaland Private Schools’ Association (ANPSA) has appealed to the government of Nagaland to help needy parents and families whose children are studying in private schools. The association elaborated a number of reasons, including constraints in paying teachers’ and staff salaries, ‘why no fee waivers can be given.’   

The ANPSA issued a press release on Thursday suggesting that the government help through direct benefit transfer or by providing loans to schools.  

“Schools are already helping as many needy students as possible and although schools really want to help everyone, at this juncture private teachers and staff are the ones who need help the most as we are in a desperate situation. That is why no fee waivers can be given,” the association stated.

“There may come a time very soon when schools may have to decide to remain open or even close down or use school complexes for other purposes to repay the loans and for survival. Some schools may even have the need to sell off school properties. We may even have to lay off many of our staff (God forbid) which may add to the unemployment problems in the State. This will be a great loss for the Students and the state.”

The association stated that there are many students who are already study in private schools either for free or studying at concessional rates.

‘But at this moment we are the ones who need help the most because of non-payment of fees by even parents who can pay the fees. We are able to absorb non-payment of fees by parents only because of the sacrifice of the teachers, staff and schools.’

Further, the ANSPA reminded that no private enterprise may be helping parents and students financially as much as private schools during this pandemic.

“You will not find discounts in grocery stores, or months of credit from anywhere without any assurance of payment. Instead of thanking us, we are seen as insensitive to the needs of the people,” the press release stated.

“With fee discounts, parents may save a few hundred rupees per month but teachers and staff will have to sacrifice thousands of rupees every month from their salaries. Many of these teachers and staff earn lesser than even the needy parents.”

Further, the association stated that many private school teachers earn less than daily wage earners.

“This is because private school fees in Nagaland are very low compared to other states. Teachers who were surviving on private tuitions are also suffering as private tuitions are no longer possible. The question today is not just about waiving of fees but more about whether teachers and school staff should get their salaries or not.”  

The association stated that when there are unemployment or poverty problems in the society, the government is best able to solve the problem and not private enterprises. Private enterprises have very limited capacity and today many have no capacity but rather need help themselves,” it stated.

“We cannot waive fees as many parents who can pay fees are also not paying and schools have a lot of added expenditure. Even with full fees, many schools are unable to pay staff salaries or meet the running expenditure,” the ANPSA stated.

“School buses are not running but drivers and handymen have to be paid, hostels are not running but staff need salaries, canteens are closed but staff need help, schools maybe closed but maintenance staff have to be paid. Many hostels also have to pay rent. They also do not have the option to use the hostel for other purposes as they are reserved for the children.”

“It is because of all these financial uncertainties that survival of private schools is at stake,” the press release stated.

Suggestions from ANPSA to help needy parents

Direct Benefit Transfer

One solution for helping low income parents without affecting staff salary is for the government to directly transfer money to needy parents through Direct Benefit Transfer.

“Guidelines for Direct Benefit Transfer may be issued by the government. Government may identify low income parents and directly transfer a fixed amount to the bank account of the low income parents for the education of their children,” it stated.

“Many of the private school students in Nagaland are children of government servants who may be receiving salaries even at this time and they may not need help. Another large group may be the children of well to do parents who will not have a problem in paying a few hundreds or thousands in school fees.”

Loans

The government may give loans to private schools where the government is the guarantor.

“But this is a much more complicated process as all schools are different with different fee structures, staff salaries and expenditures,” the press release stated.

‘Identifying how much to give to each school is a major problem. Also deciding how much fee waivers should be given for each school is another problem when there is uncertainty of how many parents will pay even the waived fees. Schools will also have to return these loans and without payment of fees by parents it is impossible to return the loans.’

‘We believe Direct Benefit Transfer is the best solution to save parents, students, teachers, school staff, schools and education in our state. We also request all parents to kindly pay the school fees at the earliest. We thank all the parents who are coming forward to pay the school fees at this time. We look forward to a positive response from the government.’  

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By EMN Updated: Jun 18, 2020 3:43:36 pm
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