Schools observe ‘black day’ against govt. intrusion

The Hindu
News Dated: 
13-Oct-2017

Say their autonomy is under threat

Mumbai: Over 60,000 unaided private schools across the country associated with the National Independence Schools Alliance (NISA) observed a “black day” on Thursday, complaining of intrusion by the government in their daily functioning which has increasingly been threatening their autonomy.

“The black day is not association oriented. It is about saving education in the State and country. It is a silent protest by the education fraternity as a response to the government’s interference through their contradictory policies,” Rajendra Singh, a representative of the Maharashtra Independent Schools Association (MISA), said.

Bharat Malik, representing the Private Unaided Schools Management Association (PUSMA), said schools in Thane, Kalyan and Dombivali observed the black day.

“Close to 1,000 schools participated. Many schools in Mumbai could not to take part as most of them are having holidays right now,” he said. PUSMA represents 6,000 private schools in Maharashtra.

A statement from NISA said that all schools functioned as usual, but all teachers and staff wore black ribbons, and school buses had black flags. “Thousands of schools have been closed down in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh. If the demands are not heard, the protest will be intensified in the coming months,” the statement said.

Radhamani Iyer, principal of Arya Gurukul, a senior secondary CBSE school in Kalyan (East), said they had no problem with following rules, but the regulation by the government now felt imposed on them. “I wake up every morning fearing what a new circular issued by the government may demand us to do,” Ms. Iyer said.

Mr. Singh said that they had been unhappy and were protesting for the past three years, but did not get any kind of response, forcing them to take this step. He, however, appreciated certain government measures. “The steps taken to ensure safety, which requires the attendants to go for police verification, is appreciated,” he said.

The fraternity said they expected a positive response from the government, hoping that it would start a dialogue with the private school leaders.