Private schools body threaten agitation against conducting exams in March

SRINAGAR – An association of private schools in Kashmir has asked government to repeal its decision of conducting all school level examinations in March next while proposing alternate plan. The association threatened of launching a State-wide agitation in support of its demands.

The Private Schools United Front (PSUF) said that the government’s decision has disturbed the entire curricular setup in Kashmir. It proposed a formula of holding exams of classes upto 8th standard in November and for higher classes in March.

“We have asked the government to allow us to conduct exams for all classes upto 8th standard in the first week of November with a provision of no student being failed or demoted,” general secretary of the front – G N Var – said. “For flood affected students there would be a mass promotion based on their previous term records.”

 The front issued the statement after representatives of more than hundred  schools from all over the valley met today to discuss the government’s examination policy. “We thoroughly discussed the issue but couldn’t find any logic in the government policy that was taken unilaterally by them,” said Var. “Before formulating the policy they have not even thought of segregating primary, middle, higher secondary and university classes. All are being measured unfairly with a single rod.”

The representatives formed a new body to connect member and non-member schools under Private Schools Associations Coordination Committee, which would take up the issue with government in coming days.

The front said that private schools are with government if they want to continue the March session for higher classes. “We are ready with everything, but first they should talk with stakeholders. I don’t know what is their problem with discussing any policy with public, I wonder is this a democracy or a dictatorship of officials,” said Var. “We have also proposed to government to work for reservation of flood affected students and scholarship package for their next academic session.” 

The front said that in case government does not change its stand on March exams then they may take other steps. “We have convened a mega conference of all private schools on 23rd of October and on that day we will take a final call in case government doesn’t budge,” said Var. “We are seriously mulling to launch a state-wide agitation in support of our genuine demands.”

The front also criticized the education department for projecting only the losses suffered by government education department and not the private schools. “They suffered Rs 165 crores loss but what about private schools who have suffered a loss of Rs 400 crores, who will plead their case,” said Var. “Is secretary education not supposed to be responsible for welfare of private schools too?”

 The front also asked the government to extend the registration of private schools for next five years as many schools have lost their paperwork. “We have to apply for registration every one or two years, but for now the government should freeze it for next five years,” said Var. “And kindly treat the principal of a private school at par with government school principal to save a lot of work and energy on documentation processes.”