Imphal: In a welcome step amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) on Monday ordered the private-run schools in the state to exempt the monthly school fees of students during the lockdown period.
In a notification, MCPCR chairperson Sumatibala Ningthoujam said that private schools may exempt school fees of students during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The notification also instructed vehicle owners plying school buses and vans commuting students not to charge any transportation fees from parents and guardians during this period.
In order to protect the children from harassment, both mentally and physically, especially during the lockdown, the child rights commission further ordered that no child should be either harassed or neglected due to any non-agreement or conflict between parents and schools owing to non-payment of school fees.
Similarly, no child should be discriminated or harassed by any educational institution or vehicle owner catering to school children till the age of 18 years due to failure of payment by the parents during the lockdown, it said.
As per the child rights commission, the essential step was taken keeping in view of the best interest of the child.
Amid the COVID-19 scare, Manipur governor Najma Heptulla ordered closure of all educational institutions, both government and private-run schools, since March 12 as precautionary step to thwart the spread of the virus in the state.
Meanwhile, to ensure the school children remained engaged during the lockdown, state education department under the initiative of education minister Th Radheshayam had recently launched the electronic format of comic textbooks for Classes III, IV and V.
The e-comic textbooks for each class comprised of three subjects — Mathematics, Environmental Studies and English language — in a single electronic comic textbook format.