PVT schools observe black day to protest ‘GOVT INTERFERENCE’

Ahmedabad Mirror
News Dated: 

After a series of protests by parents over the delay in finalising fee cap in private schools, it was the turn of city private schools on Thursday to protest government interference in their affairs. Several private schools participated in the pan India protest, under the aegis of Association of Progressive Schools (AOPS), by observing ‘Black Day’. Teachers and support staff sported black attire or wore black ribbons while some schools even tagged black flags on buses to express unhappiness at the meddling of state and central governments in their operations.

However, academic sessions continued unhindered. AOPS spokesperson M P Chandran said, “There are avoidable interferences from the state and central governments which are detrimental to school education. We wanted to express our concern in a non-violent and silent manner so that the message reaches the concerned authorities. All regulations should promote quality of education and not emphasize on affordable education.” Neeru Nayyer, Principal, Khyati World School, said, “The government takes decisions without considering the plight of private schools.

The kind of facilities that private schools provide and the fee cap that has been decided by the government will not be possible for us to implement. In fact, we won’t be able to pay salaries to our teachers if the cap is implemented. With no grant coming from the government, how do private schools manage without reasonable fees?” Officer on Special Duty Unmesh Dixit, Kalorx group, said: “As we are member of AOPS, we participated symbolically to observe Black Day.”

Amanagement trustee of a known private school, on condition of anonymity, said: “Of late, there has been an overdose of interference in the working of private schools which is proving to be a great hindrance. Since private schools are autonomous and non-profit making, these kind of intervention is not acceptable.”

Issues opposed by private schools

  • Fee Regulatory Act which caps fees charged and stipulates how much private schools should charge irrespective of facilities given to students.
  • Child safety rules such as biometric and character verification of all employees: It is a sudden and knee jerk reaction to the Delhi’s Ryan School incident.
  • B. Ed. qualified teachers to compulsorily undergo further Teachers’ Eligibility Tests
  • Prohibition of sale of books, stationery and uniform from school stores (which was again changed within a few months after the schools followed the directive and closed their shops)
  • Payment according to 7thPay Commission which entails hefty hikes in teachers’ salaries which acts as a paradox to substantial reduction in school fees
  • Right to Education giving free seats to 25% of children