Srinagar- Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has expressed its anguish over a series of new government orders issued by the government recently.
The Association said that there seems to be some kind of ploy to demolish all small and big private schools in Kashmir. “Be it transport issues, order to get NOCs, retrieval of land order which has affected 100’s of community schools, everything is being used to crush private schools. Now the latest government notification S.O 233 dated 10th May, 2022 is aimed to target new schools with futuristic vision who have invested huge money in different districts to give quality education to students,” said a spokesperson of PSAJK.
The Association said that the latest notification issued by the government has disempowered all private schools and entrusted the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) with sweeping powers to determine fees for every school and impose heavy penalties. “This is a bizarre order. Schools are providing services and people who do not have an idea of accounts and finance have been given powers to determine how much they can charge. Every school is different with different sets of facilities, teaching aids, logistics, skilled manpower etc. Fee is a major incentive to upgrade facilities for a school and enhance quality of education. When fee fixing power is snatched from schools, then why will a school invest and upgrade its facilities,” said G N Var president PSAJK.
The Association said that under the new rules FFRC confined to its office will determine the fee for thousands of schools whom it has never visited. “It is ironic that the said committee right from the date of constitution has never dared to visit any school. They simply don’t know how a school functions. How much a school has invested and how much fee is justified. They don't even have a Chartered Accountant and anybody with a financial background. The government has literally handed over the future of lakhs of students to a bunch of clerks headed by a chairman,” said a school owner.
“In JK UT, the majority of schools are affordable which other schools in the country cannot even be thought of. Our small private schools work day in and out to provide quality education to students on meagre resources,” said Var.
A week-long exercise will be started suspending the academic activities in schools and awareness created in school students about why the education sector is being targeted in J&K.
If Government will not take private schools onboard we will be forced to take some tough measures, Var said.
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