KUSMA To Go Ahead With Weeklong Bandh From Today

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   (2012-07-16 00:00:00)

As many as 1,800 schools are likely to remain closed from Monday as the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA) has decided to go ahead with its weeklong bandh.

Despite a dialogue scheduled for Monday with the State government, the association has taken the decision as a mark of protest against the lack of clarity in the implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE).

A. Mariyappa, KUSMA secretary, that the strike was “in the interests of students”, and the association was calling for the bandh “against its will”.

“We had demanded clarity on the definition of minority institutions. Under pressure from us, they hurriedly announced something at the Cabinet meeting, but it is still not clear,” he said.

Asked if the protest would be called off if the outcome of Monday’s dialogue turned out to be positive, he said they would take a call later.

However, confusion is bound to reign as a KUSMA member, when asked if the parents had been informed in advance, admitted that notices had been dispatched late. A KUSMA member school at Vijayanagar here was not even aware of such a decision, and the management was unclear on what to do.

Robina Farooq, principal of the State-board Prasiddhi School, which is not part of KUSMA, said they don’t have the “luxury of closing for a week” and it would be a huge burden on the teachers.

Kumar G. Naik, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education, said it was “unfortunate” that the association was going ahead with the bandh despite the scheduled dialogue.

“We have already communicated to them to call off the strike. Everything can be sorted out through discussions. We will start the dialogue on a clean slate,” he added.

Meanwhile, yet another association decided not to participate in the strike. The Karnataka Federation of Independent Schools Management president L.R. Shivarame Gowda, at a press conference on Sunday, said the 1,300 ICSE, CBSE, IB and IGCSE schools under it would not be closed “in the interests of students”.

“At a time when there is a political crisis in the State, and when we don’t even know who would be in charge of the Primary Education Ministry, the strike could have been postponed at least,” he said.

Earlier, the Karnataka State Private School Management Federation and Karnataka Associated Managements of English-Medium Schools declared that they would not be part of the bandh.