Private schools call off strike

The Tribune
News Dated: 
11-May-2016

Private schools in Haryana today called off their strike in the “interest of students”. The classes will resume tomorrow (Wednesday).

This does not mean that the impasse over admission to EWS (economically weaker section) children to private schools has ended. No early solution seems to be in sight, as both school owners and parents of poor children have adopted tough posture.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday claimed that efforts were on to find a solution to the problem, while Federation of Private Schools’ Association, Haryana, president Kulbhushan Sharma said that no officer invited any member of the federation for talks.

Parents of EWS children, meanwhile, held a demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s house today. They accused the government of colluding with school managements to deny their children enrolment in private schools.

Sharma said the decision to reopen the schools had been taken in the interest of children.

Haryana is the only state where Rule 134-A of the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003, is in force. Other states have been implementing the Right To Education (RTE) Act, which provides for 25 per cent reservation for EWS children against fees reimbursed by state governments.

This year, the Haryana Government invited applications for around 2.8 lakh EWS seats in private schools and received nearly 70,000 applications.

Private schools, however, said only “poor and meritorious” students could be admitted under Rule 134-A.

In an examination conducted to identify “meritorious” students on May 1, merely 20 per cent could qualify for admission.

Private schools have said they would not admit a single EWS child unless they received reimbursement of fees for children admitted in the past three years.

“All we have demanding is stop mounting pressure on us to admit EWS children for free and, instead, implement the RTE Act, an Act of Parliament,” said Sharma.

Rajiv Verma, who led the demonstration of parents of EWS children, alleged the examination was a conspiracy to deny poor children admission and demanded enrolment of all those who had applied.

Karnal: In a state-level rally, private schools’ associations under the banner of Private School Welfare Association announced to open their schools in the interest of students. But they have decided to continue their protest by not enroling students under Rule 134-A till a written assurance by the state government about the reimbursement of fee, specifying when and how it would be done.

Ambala: The National Independent Schools’ Alliance (NISA) has passed a resolution against the Delhi Government for allegedly defaming private schools of Delhi and decided to approach the High Court against the Kejriwal government.

Jhajjar: Owners of private schools and teachers took out a march in the city today in protest against Rule 134-A. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) on reaching the Mini-Secretariat.

Hisar: A survey by an NGO has brought out that around 58 per cent of people want children of peoples’ representatives and government officials to study in government schools. The survey was conducted by Raah group from January to March.