CHENNAI: After threatening action against private schools that conduct online classes, School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan backtracked and clarified that they can hold such classes as long as teachers are not made to come to school for this purpose.
Meeting reporters on Wednesday, Sengottaiyan said the government has warned schools of strict action if they commence online classes for students. "The government, through the Director of the School Education Department, has sent letters to schools asking them not to take online classes. If anyone (schools) violates this, action will be taken against them," he said.
Shortly afterwards, Sengottaiyan issued a clarification stating that it is not possible to prevent schools from conducting online classes. He said that teachers cannot, however, be made to come to the school premises to take online classes.
He further added that schools cannot compel parents to pay the fees for the upcoming academic year, even if they start online classes by June. All educational institutions in the state have been shut since the last week of March. Many private schools have resorted to online classes since then, giving them an edge over students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
The government had, in mid-April, ordered that schools should not compel parents to pay pending fees or collect the fees for the upcoming academic year while the lockdown is in force. However, schools across the state have been asking parents to pay the fees for the upcoming academic year under the pretext of conducting online classes.