Private schools alone can't be burdened by regulations: NISA

Business Standard
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In the wake of government coming up with a number of safety regulations for schools, National Independent Schools Alliance today alleged that private schools were being made a soft target and they alone cannot be asked to strictly enforce all the guidelines while "exempting" government schools.

"The contribution of private schools in providing quality education cannot be overlooked.

"One incident (in Gurgaon school) has suddenly brought all the private schools under scanner, but worst incidents have happened in government schools but no safety measure is taken and the quality of education too happens to be sub- standard ," Kulbhushan Sharma, president of NISA, an all-India federation representing over 55,000 schools in different states, said addressing a news conference here.

"Private schools have been asked to install CCTVs, ensure police verification of staff, appoint security guards, hire only that labour whose police verification is done etc. However, the same provision has been missing in most of government schools," he said.

H S Mamik, president of the Independent Schools' Association in Chandigarh, was also present.

Sharma said that in the wake of the incident of alleged murder of a Class 2 student in Ryan International School in Gurgaon recently, various state governments are coming up with detailed safety regulations.

He said from time to time and especially after the Gurgaon school incident, they have issued advisories to schools regarding safety and security measures of children.

However, he asked why strict action was not taken against government schools when they were caught on the wrong foot.

"Governments have mandated all their regulations only on private schools and they are always soft on government schools, who are exempted from following the regulations.

"The trend is further catching up in context of recent tragic death of a child in a Gurgaon school.

"We all are very upset with the death of the child but merely mandating CCTV cameras, police verification and holding the management and principal responsible is not going to solve the concerns of the safety and security of children," he said.

He said the government must provide financial assistance to schools so that they are able to follow all the directions and the cost is not passed on to parents in form of increased fee.

About the schools in Chandigarh being asked to follow safety and security regulations, Mamik said, "We are requesting the administration here to sit with us and decide what is correct and it should be implemented with the same measure on the government schools as well".