Post Mortem

Save the private schools & colleges of Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/17/2020 12:59:23 PM IST

 The DNSU recently appealed to the authorities of the institutions (schools and colleges) in and around Dimapur to consider exemption of fees, particularly for the less fortunate students. This was followed a few days later by the NSF requesting the institutional authorities to waive fees for the weaker sections. The Private Schools Association agreed to give concessions, which is really laudable. In some of the local papers of16thJuly 2020, an appeal was made to the Government of Nagaland (GoN) by the Private Colleges’ Association for support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus has wrecked havoc with the world’s economy. The situation is equally grim in Nagaland. However, education has to be salvaged, and for which priority has to be accorded. This therefore, requires the undivided attention of the GoN, parents and guardians, and students.

It is unfortunately a fact that most teachers and staff of private institutions now do not get full salaries due to dwindling financial resources. Though the situation is very grim, teachers are somehow in contact with their students; education in the form of online teaching and assessment is ongoing. If present conditions continue, many institutions may be forced to close down due to inability to pay salaries of teachers and staff. Even now, with drastic reduction in salaries in institutions, many teachers and staff may be eyeing other options; survival is the priority.

The GoN has to come to the aid of the private institutions, considering the tens of thousands of student’s careers that are at stake. The private colleges alone cater to the education of about 23,600 students. The private schools have a larger number. Without the private institutions our state is doomed. There are pleas for help and suggestions by the private institutions. The GoN may devise more viable methods if available, but help, it should.

The parents and guardians have a vital role to play in the prevailing circumstances. 

Those who can afford must ensure that school fees are paid regularly, and in full. Definitely most parents/guardians can afford, being government-salaried or well off. The really needy section is very small. 

The positive response on the part of those who can will enable the authorities of the private institutions to pay their teachers and staff full salaries in time. These teachers and staff have dedicated themselves to educating and supporting our children and in the process, uplifting society. They deserve our goodwill and financial support. By this simple act of paying all fees in time we also contribute to the education of children from less privileged homes.

Most college and university students are in receipt of scholarships granted by the government to support their studies. There is no reason why they should not pay their institutional fees, though there is a lockdown. If everybody stops paying fees citing lack of classroom activity, the teachers and staff will be left without salaries. This will lead to closure of institutions, the consequences of which will be extremely serious. It will be very difficult for society to recover if this happens.

May good sense, honesty, and goodwill prevail!

Prof. G.T. Thong

Lower Agri Colony, Kohima

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