B.Ed College
One of the B.Ed colleges in Nagaland. Image credit - www.mgmctedimapur.org

The private colleges of Nagaland impressed upon the state government that reopening of educational institutions at the earliest is of great importance as online classes cannot be full substitute to traditional classrooms.

However, they said it must be done as and when it is deemed safe to do so.

“We are ready to fully cooperate with the government in this regard, in whatever way possible,” the Private Colleges Association of Nagaland said in a letter to Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy on Thursday.

The association said in spite of various directives from higher authorities for educational institutions to switch over to online classes, it cannot be a full substitute for traditional classrooms.

“Re-opening of educational institutions at the earliest is thus of great importance,” it said.

Highlighting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown on the education sector, the association said there are about 23,000 students enrolled and about 1,090 teachers and 640 staff employed in some 44 private colleges in the state..

It said the colleges are trying to keep students updated with their studies and lessons through online platforms and other means.  However, many students are outside the online loop on account of poor internet connectivity within the state in general while some cannot afford a smart phone.

“If containment and safety is not assured for too long, and if the shutdown of schools and colleges is continued consequently, we fear for the financial sustainability of the private institutions, which in turn will adversely impact the pay and salary of the teachers and staff that we employ,” it said.

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