Srinagar: Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) Friday offered the government to take over the transportation wing of all the private educational institutes and provide quality and affordable transportation facilities to students.
The Association said that such a scenario will be a win-win situation for the students, parents, and the school managements.
“In the interest of the society, it is amending the previous order of not plying its school buses and other vehicles.”
Addressing a Press Conference at Kashmir Press Club in Srinagar, the Association’s President GN War said that the last time “we had decided to keep our transport off the roads”. “After that we got numerous requests from parents and the government too jumped in to discuss the issue with us. From the government side we got assurances and promises which are yet to be implemented on ground
He said to give more time to parents to make their own arrangements and government to implement its promised orders, “we have decided to ply our vehicles for the next two weeks”.
War said that the main work of the private schools is to provide quality education to children and providing transport services is not a necessary domain of an educational institute. “The transportation service has become a white elephant for us. It not only impedes our working but has also become a financial burden on us. In the absence of collection of transportation charges from the parents of the students since August 2019, schools in no way can afford to ply their buses,” he said.
In such a scenario, he said the association asked the government to take over all of the buses and other vehicles. “The government has a full fledged transport department and hundreds of vehicles. They can easily arrange transport for the children,” said Var. “They can charge minimally or whatever they like and provide quality transport. For government school children they spend billions let them provide a paid service to private school children.”
The Association said that schools have to bear cost of carrying children in its vehicles anywhere from Rs 2384-5885 depending on the type of vehicle and in return students pay a minimal fee which is not sustainable.
“In the era of COVID pandemic the transportation fee is set to increase due to SOPs which we tend to implement strictly.”
The Association said that such is the situation that over 250 private schools are on the verge of closure due to financial burden arising out of non-collection of fee and transportation charges.
“We provide employment to 70000 persons and education to over 7 lakh students. Just imagine if the private school sector collapses what will happen to our society,” said Var. “Our only source of income is fee from students.”
The Association said that it is ready to work under rules and regulations provided the same are made according to some logic and not according to whims of an officer.
“The problem is that we have multiple authorities to govern us and it often leads to contradictory orders. Be it fee committee, district administration, divisional administration, director school education etc. It would make our life easier if all are on same page,” said Var.
There is chaos in the administration regarding Affiliation, Registration and Upgradation of schools. After the formation of UT, there were number of good central guidelines regarding education sector meant for implementation here, but those files are pending in GAD and we don’t know what has happened to them. Can anybody tell us when are those guidelines being implemented here?
“Recently an order was issued by the Fee Committee but they have least bothered to take school representatives on board. The result is zero implementation. We need a transparent and just system that works according to laws. The orders shouldn’t change with the change of chairs,” said Var.
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