<p class="p1">The Assam government yesterday has asked all the private schools to slash 25 per cent fee from pre-school to Class XII standard from May till the schools open, Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.</p>
<p class="p1">Sarma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, in a tweet said: "In view of Covid-19 pandemic, we have advised all private educational institutions to offer at least 25 per cent concessions in monthly fees (pre-primary to XII), from May 1 till the formal opening of schools. These institutions are saving substantial expenditure under various heads."</p>
<p class="p1">Assam government Principal Secretary in-charge of Elementary and Secondary Education Department B. Kalyan Chakravarthy also issued an order asking the private schools to cut a minimum 25 per cent fee from pre-school to Class XII from May till the schools open.</p>
<p class="p1">The order said: "In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Assam government is compelled to close the schools and colleges from March 16 and all the activities were under lockdown from March 23. The income of all the citizens of Assam has been badly affected and they are not in a position to afford a payment of school fees till the lockdown period is over."</p>
<p class="p1">Chakravarthy in his order said that due to the closure of educational institutions, the non-government educational institutions are saving substantial expenditure on various heads, including energy charges on electrical consumptions, transport, and vehicular operation, cost of the meal in case of residential and boarding schools, sports and games, management and operation of laboratories, computers, reduction of expenses on cleaning and maintenance.</p>
<p class="p1">Minister Sarma earlier said in Guwahati that the Assam government is keen to reopen educational institutions from September 1 but it would depend on the decision and directives of the Centre. He said that all teachers and employees of the schools will have to get themselves tested for coronavirus before August 30.</p>.