Ghaziabad: 128 private schools to stay closed on May 4
Ghaziabad: 128 private schools to stay closed on May 4
Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Ghaziabad: 128 private schools to stay closed on May 4 Picture used for representative purpose only
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Ghaziabad: 128 private schools to stay closed on May 4

Irked over the district administration’s investigation of fee hikes in private schools and protests by parents over the issue, about 128 private schools in Ghaziabad have decided to stay closed on May 4 in protest.

The decision came following directions of the Independent Schools Federation of India (ISFI), Ghaziabad, which is an association of privately-run schools in the district.

Subhash Jain, chairman of ISFI, told City Spidey, “The federation has a stay order from the High Court regarding the formation of a committee by the local administration for the investigation of fee hikes. According to the court’s orders, the committee formed under the additional district magistrate [ADM] of Ghaziabad cannot take any action.”

“If parents have already approached the Chief Minister’s office in Lucknow, the decision should be taken there and not locally. We will submit a representation in this regard to the District Magistrate tomorrow and keep all the schools closed for the day. Around 128 schools registered with the federation have decided to support the initiative,” added Jain.

Several school authorities issued alerts to parents via Whatsapp groups and notices. An alert by Khaitan Public School, Sahibabad, said that the school would be closed on May 4 owing to the call by ISFI in protest of “unnecessary public demonstration” and “undue interference by the district administration.”

A similar notice was issued by Indirapuram Public School (Pratap Vihar), Delhi Public School Ghaziabad Vasundhara, and Delhi Public School (DPS) Indirapuram.

Speaking to City Spidey, Meeta Rai, principal of DPS Indirapuram, said that the school took the decision after receiving a circular from the federation. “We have decided to keep the school closed in solidarity with all the other schools in Ghaziabad,” Rai added.

However, the move received sharp criticism from parents and their associations. Shivani Jain, president of All School Parents Association (ASPA) in Ghaziabad, said that when the district administration had issued orders for schools to be closed, it had flouted this by keeping the school open, saying it affected the children's studies. However, now they were going against their very words by declaring holidays at will.

“What role do children have in protests? They [school authorities] can meet the District Magistrate and present their views. But what is the point of keeping the schools closed?” asked Jain.

Speaking to City Spidey, Rajesh Yadav, ADM (finance and revenue), who is the chairman of the investigation committee, refuted the ISFI’s claims and said that the district administration was  acting on behalf of the state government and in view of the alleged violations of CBSE's norms, the investigation was justified.

When asked if the private schools could stay closed according to their own will, the ADM said that this issue would also be discussed with the district's Basic Shiksha Adhikari and investigated. "In case of forceful imposition of such holidays and depriving children of classes, we will definitely take action under legal provisions," Yadav added.

Raj Singh Yadav, district inspector of schools, Ghaziabad, and a member of the investigation committee, told City Spidey that instead of backing away from the situation, the institutions should cooperate in the investigation. “It is not out of the blue that parents from all schools began protesting daily. The institutions must cooperate so that a valid conclusion can be reached and the problem be solved. We will carry on with the investigation,” Yadav said.

 

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