‘Won’t reopen until govt complies with our demands’: Private Schools in Karnataka

The private schools’ association has presented demands that they want the government to fulfil including a relief package for teachers.
Teacher and students in a classroom
Teacher and students in a classroom
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Several private school associations in Karnataka alongside the Teachers’ Federation and the Minority Educational Institutions’ Association said they won’t resume classes for the next academic year on June 15, 2021 if their demands are not fulfilled, and also citing lack of funds and government apathy. Associated Management of English Medium schools in Karnataka (KAMS), Recognised Unaided Private Schools Association (RUPSA), Karnataka ICSE School Association, Karnataka Unaided Schools Managements Association (KUSMA), and other associations together have put forth a slew of demands including vaccination for teaching and non-teaching staff, relief packages and mandatory enrolment of students.

Speaking to the media after their meeting, Shashi Kumar, General Secretary of KAMS, said that the schools are prepared to reopen, however, they won’t do so unless the government issues an advisory asking parents to enroll their wards into the schools. They also want the teachers and the non-teaching staff to be inoculated on priority basis before resuming operations for the academic year.

“The private schools’ management, teachers and all stakeholders held a meeting and we arrived at a conclusion that we will reopen schools from June 15. However, if the government fails to take any action towards vaccinating the teaching and non-teaching staff, we won’t resume operations. We also demand the government to issue an advisory to the parents to ensure they enroll their wards in schools and also ensure they attend classes,” said Shashi Kumar.

He further said the schools are being pressured to promote the children to higher grades without any assessment unlike what the government order stated. The government had advised schools to assess children based on their performance in assignments and attendance.

The private schools had earlier complained of a data security breach by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, and also asked for action to be taken against the persons responsible for the same. The private schools had alleged that important personal data of students that is updated in the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+) database could be misused. The data is entered by Cluster Resource Persons (CRPs) who allegedly let individual schools use their user ID and passwords to do so, thereby compromising the security of the already recorded data.

“The government should promptly initiate action against the culprits behind the data breach and suspend them from their posts. If the government fails to do that, we (the private school associations) shall not back further data updates,” Shashi Kumar said.

Last week, the BS Yediyurappa-led government had announced a relief package for various sectors, however, teachers were not included in the same. Shashi Kumar appealed that either the government or the local leaders should come up with relief packages for the teachers.

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