Mumbai: Private Schools To Mark Black Day Against Government

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All private unaided schools across India -- under their umbrella body, National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) -- will put up black flags on their gates on October 12, to protest the increasing government interference in their day-to-day functioning.

The move comes after the extensive grilling of private schools over safety and security measures in schools. The schools claimed that there is no set of guidelines that can be considered as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), and various government bodies have put up varied demands that are not always possible for schools to adhere to.

The largest association of budgeted private schools across India, NISA, has decided to mark October 12 as black day in protest. The body, which has around 60,000 schools across the country as members, has decided to continue operations as usual, but with black flags on school gates, and staff wearing black ribbons.

"It appears that the government has an anti-private school agenda, especially against those imparting quality education at affordable rates. This has to change, otherwise, schools like ours will be forced to shut, leaving no affordable good-schooling options for children," said Amit Chandra, national coordinator of NISA.

Following the horrific murder of a student at Ryan International School in Gurugram, concerns have been raised over the safety and security of all schoolchildren. "There is continuous harassment by government bodies, starting from forcing free schooling of underprivileged children under the Right To Education Act to unattainable safety goals in the absence of one standard set of guidelines. All this is only leading to confusion. There is dire need for a uniform set of rules," Chandra added.