PRIVATE SCHOOLS in Chandigarh observed Black Day on Thursday as part of a nationwide protest called by the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), a federation of associations of private schools. The countrywide protest was against “excessive interference of the government in their functioning”. As part of their silent protest, the managements of private schools tied a black ribbon on their left arm and hung black banners on school gates and behind school buses.
NISA claimed that there had been excessive interference by the government and rules were being framed to discriminate on the basis of affiliation, status and infrastructure. The alliance also claimed that schools were being forced to admit children belonging to the economically weaker section but they were not being reimbursed by the government.
Circulars were sent out to parents a day prior to Black Day. A message sent by one of the private schools to parents stated, “This is to inform you that private schools all over India are going to observe a Black Day on October 12 to protest the ever increasing government interference in the management of private schools. Government agencies, ranging from the Education Department, STA, CCPCR, CBSE, Parent Bodies, each agency offers its own directives some of which are impractical, others contradicting one another whereas none have been arrived at in consultation with private schools. Needless to say, this non-stop maligning of private schools is making the managements and teachers feel harassed and victimised. Black Day is a silent and dignified protest and in no way will it compromise or dilute our efforts for continuous improvement in the safety and education of our children.”
However, the protest does not seem to have gone down well with the Chandigarh Parents Association (CPA) that condemned this decision of Chandigarh private schools observing Black Day. CPA stated that private schools were overcharging in the name of fees and other things and government directions, aimed at regulating their decisions, were the need of the hour.