THE UT administration has announced that all educational institutions — schools and colleges of Chandigarh — will function normally from August 28. But parents remain unsure about sending their children as concerns loom about the security situation on Monday, when the CBI court will decide the quantum of punishment to Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at Rohtak jail, where it has temporarily shifted.
Commenting on parents’ concerns, Secretary Education, UT, B L Sharma said they should not create a panic situation as the situation is under control and both the education and the police department has ensured the safety of the city residents. “I don’t think there is any need to create panic as Chandigarh remained safe and tomorrow also it will be secured as the police have already taken the necessary safety measures and the same will be followed for tomorrow,” said Sharma. Many parents told Newsline that they fear unrest and agitation from Dera supporters in Tricity on Monday.
“No, I am not going to send my daughter. I don’t know if things will be normal or not. I will wait for one more day,” said Swarn Singh Kamboj, a resident of Sector 37 in Chandigarh. His daughter studies at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-B. Like Kamboj, many other parents also said that they would keep their children at home for another day.
“Who knows how the Dera supporters are going to react on Monday? I am also teaching in a government school and I have also advised my students to wait for one more day to get things normal. Instead of attending the school with a sense of fear, it’s better to stay at home for one more day,” said Pardeep Kumar, a government teacher.
School principals said students and parents should not panic as the city is now safe. “I don’t think that schools should be closed for more days. Things are under control and the school would functional normally from Monday,” said H S Mamik, president of Independent Schools Association, Chandigarh. Neeta Sandhu, principal, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Chandigarh, said that in the free period, they have planned to sensitise the students not to believe rumours and they should stay clam. The students will be told not to panic.
“We are lucky that nothing happened in Chandigarh. As everything is normal in city, so the school would open on Monday and on our part we will make sure that each child reaches home safely,” said Atul Khanna, director, Strawberry Fields, Chandigarh. “Police patrolling and PCR deployment is already there. As of now, no special arrangements have been made for schools. Also, since August 25, we have been ensuring that the city remains safe,” said Nilambari Vijay Jagadale, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh.
Some schools to remain closed
As a precautionary measure, some of the city schools, especially the ones near the Panchkula periphery on Sunday through an SMS informed the parents that they have decided to remain closed on Monday. The message sent by the schools including Gurukul Global School Manimajra, RIMT School Manimajra read, “Owing to the current law and order situation in the tricity, Monday is declared a holiday in the school. Saupins and St Xaviers will also remain closed on Monday.
“All branches of St Xavier’s Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Zirakpur will remain closed tomorrow in view of disturbances in Tricity. The school offices will remain open,” said Naresh Handa, assistant director, St Xavier Chandigarh.