A file image of school students in Kohima Credit: EastMojo Image

Kohima: Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has introduced a uniform fee structure for Classes IX-XII in all government schools across the state. Beginning with this year’s academic calendar for Class XI, the new uniform fee structure will be applicable across all government schools in Nagaland.

Principal director of school education Shanavas C on Thursday notified that the order to roll out the uniform fee structure will come into force with immediate effect. Accordingly, all heads of institutions are directed to ensure that the amounts collected are utilised strictly for the purpose for which they have been collected. It also notified that the accounts of receipts and expenditures must be maintained which will be subject to audit by the department.

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Following the chief secretary’s order that all admission process must be done online, the directorate of school education (DoSE) rescheduled the online registration process for Class XI in government schools from June 15-22 through the department’s website at education.nagaland.gov.in

A reliable source from the directorate, on condition of anonymity, revealed that the proposal for a uniform fee structure was made by the department in February last year after it received complaints from the general public in regard to the fee disparity in government schools.

The source told EastMojo that after the chief secretary’s order, all schools were directed to submit the fee structure inorder to facilitate the online admission process for all government schools under one single window.

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“Then we realised that all schools had different structures and there was a disparity in the amount of fees that were collected for a particular class alone,” the source said. According to the list of fee structures for Class XI in government schools, the minimum admission fee for Arts stream was Rs 1,000 and the maximum was Rs 3,500, a difference of Rs 2,500 for the same course of study.

The source then said: “One major problem was that the accounts were not maintained by the schools and so it cannot be audited.” As per the new order, to ensure that the fee collected from the student is used for that particular purpose, the department will annually audit the accounts of the schools.

While the lockdown has forced schools to remain closed, the consideration of reducing fee amount and the need to go online for admissions and academic learning also compelled the department to expedite the process of rolling out a uniform fee structure for the government schools

The fee structure for Classes XI to XII in government schools

“The disparity is realised and to the measure to bring a uniform fee structure is taken. There will be more transparency in managing the government schools from this year onwards as the accounts are now subject to audit,” the source added.

With 248 government high schools and 44 government higher secondary schools across the state, the source said that the uniform fee structure will be rolled out for Classes XI to XII. Since the academic year for the other classes have already begun ahead of the order, the uniform fee structure applies to only students seeking admission in government schools for Class XI this year.

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The source also said that since financial grants ranging between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1,00,000 are annually distributed to the government schools depending on the enrolment of students and other bills like the electricity bills are reimbursed on a yearly basis, the “should be able to function with the prescribed fee structure”.

When asked about the government schools where classes are upgraded without upgrading the infrastructure, the source said that there are few such cases which may have been deprived of the facilities to accommodate students. “Such schools can approach the department and it will be looked into,” the source said, adding that assistance for office equipment and renovation of schools are always provided by the department.

Meanwhile, the portal for online admission to the government schools will open from June 15-22 for the submission of applications. For those facing difficulty, the forms can also be downloaded and submitted offline to the respective schools. The list of selected candidates will be notified on June 27, based on merit.

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