Srinagar, Oct 24: Students and teachers from a government-recognized private school located in old Srinagar city Monday staged a protest for sealing the school despite ‘court orders.
The school in question is ‘Naqshband Public High School’ located in Mahraj Gunj Srinagar.
For the last 3 years, the government in Kashmir Valley has closed over 125 private schools for one or the other reasons.
“Government sealed our ‘Naqshband Public High School on 19 October. We are being deprived of getting the education and are sitting at home,” the protesting students said.
Teachers of the school said that the court directed the authorities to de-seal the school, however, it was sealed again, much against the wishes of the locals.
‘The school management has been paying rent to the owner of the land,’ they said.
The land belongs to ‘Arya Samaj’ where this school is functioning for many decades.
Tehsildar Khanyar in his directions to the police has stated that the structure of Arya Samaj that has been found under the occupation of ‘Naqshband Public High School has been sealed and the police are directed to ensure that the seal is not broken.
With the sealing of the school, the education of hundreds of children has been affected, much against the discomfiture of the parents who have been requesting authorities to let the school function at least till the end of the session, however, their appeals have gone to deaf ears.
A well-known educationist said that it has become really very difficult to run a private school in Kashmir Valley.
Nowhere in India, you will find a private school owner submitting more than two NOCs before authorities but in Kashmir, the case is totally different. “A private school owner in Kashmir is bound to submit more than 7 NOCs. Its time consuming and in a way sheer harassment.”
Earlier a private school owner had to get the NOC for school building safety and fire safety only but now there is NOC for ‘chemical safety’, ‘traffic’, ‘pollution’, ‘political non-involvement etc.
Among the four categories of schools existing in Valley, only one category is under the radar of the government.
There are missionary schools, there are franchise schools. There are schools run by trusts and there are schools who are being run by those who didn’t find government jobs after obtaining the highest degrees and started their own ventures. People falling under the last category are facing more problems.
Alone in the Zaldagar Zone of Srinagar city, authorities have closed down 18 private schools out of 42 institutions.
Parents are now reluctant to get their kids admitted to these private schools though government earlier recognize them. They are left with no option except to get admission either in missionary or franchise schools, which is a huge burden for the parents falling into low-income groups.
One of the parents whose ward is a student of ‘Naqshband Public High School’ that the government has sealed now said that he admitted his kid only after knowing that it is a government-recognized school. “How come you seal a government-recognized school? Why the government recognized it if it knew it was functioning from ‘Arya Samaj’ land? he questioned.
Private Schools Association J&K has already moved to court questioning the undue interference of the government in the education sector and the closure of over 125 private schools in Kashmir Valley. knt