Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Govt-appointed committee to examine college fee structure


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 7: The state government will constitute a committee to study the fee structures of all the educational institutions in Meghalaya, especially the government-aided schools and colleges.
The objective is to set the minimum and the maximum fee.
“I am not saying the schools and colleges in the state are charging huge fees but the government will examine their fee structure and may set a minimum and maximum limit with some standard for fees,” Education Minister Rakkam A. Sangma said on Thursday.
He asserted that the government does not intend to cut down the fees.
“I think there should be some limit for fees in government-aided schools, especially for students from humble backgrounds,” he said.
Sangma said the department collected records of what the colleges charge per student.
“Kiang Nangbah Government College with 98 faculty members sanctioned by the government is charging Rs 7,460 for their three-year BA course. St. Anthony’s College has 101 sanctioned posts and is charging Rs 69,020 for three years of BA,” he said.
Tura Government College, charging Rs 15,260, has 86 sanctioned posts while St. Mary’s College with 65 sanctioned posts is charging Rs 84,780 for three years. St. Anthony’s College charges Rs 1,19,120 for a three-year BA in media technology, the minister said.
He also cited the BA course fee of Rs 1,12,380 charged by St. Edmund’s College to underline the difference in the fee structure of different colleges.
Pointing out that the state government is bearing the cost and salaries in many colleges, Sangma said colleges such as St. Edmund’s, St. Anthony’s, St. Mary’s, and Shillong College have also appointed teachers from their funds to meet the expenditure.
“It is too early to say whether they are charging high but we will look into it,” he said, adding there should not be any politics and business in education.
He said many brilliant students do not get the opportunity to study in the leading colleges because they cannot afford the fees. Setting a fee limit could help them get that opportunity, he said.
Speaking about the demand by SSA teachers for regularisation, Sangma ruled out the same saying the move will incur an additional financial burden of not less than Rs 300 crore annually.
“It will be a massive challenge for the state government. If they are regularised, they (SSA teachers) will demand the same scale as government employees,” Sangma said.
According to him, the state government is exploring all available options to improve the position of the SSA teachers since they have the same responsibilities as government teachers.
“We will also await the recommendation of the State Education Commission,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Education minister admitted that there were over 1,000 vacant posts in the various SSA schools in the state.
“We have decided to stop appointment in SSA schools with zero enrolment. We have instructed the District Mission Coordinators to submit a proposal for the recruitment of SSA teachers in schools having a sizeable number of students,” he added.


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