Terming the various provisions of SRO123 of Jammu and Kashmir government arbitrary and against the principles of natural justice, Private School Association (PSA) has demanded that the laws pertaining to schools should be framed after consulting basic stalk holders.
“The aim and objective behind SRO123 is to provide qualitative education by what one fails to understand what kind of quality the provisions of SRO is speaking about. Ironically, it is applicable only to private education institutions”, PSA delegation told a local news agency, KNS. They alleged that various provisions of SRO are arbitrary and should be revoked with immediate effect.
“Provisions laid down in SRO123 are according to the guidelines of SSA and RMSA which facilitate opening of primary schools, upgradation of primary into middle schools and upgradation of middle schools into high schools. But the provisions laid down are suitable for metropolitan cities but not for the Valley”, said one of the member of delegation Mohammad Ashraf.
They said that the basic lacuna in framing laws is that delegated authority frames it in closed rooms without taking every stake holder on board. “Framing laws in closed room without consulting basic stake holders is gross violation of natural justice. Both things are different, framing laws as per discretion and framing it as per need. Those who frame it in closed rooms are hardly bothered about its consequences and results on ground”, they told KNS.
President Private Schools Association, Mushtaq Ahmad said, “The most important thing is that how can school management could get quick permissions from concern authorities and other relevant documents for construction in a short span of time. For constructing examination hall as laid down in SRO123, one should understand that it needs a land, permission for construction and finance. The all burden would lie on parent’s shoulders as the management has no option but to raise school building fund and other fee.” He further said that no member from their association or any other relevant stake holder was part of consultation in framing provisions of this law.
When contacted, Director Education Mohammad Shafi Rather, said, “To run a school is commercial activity governed by SRO123. It has to be implemented. We don’t have any control over fee structure of private schools so in the interest of students we have made it mandatory for private schools to provide them qualitative infrastructure.”
When asked whether government schools are having infrastructure as laid down in SRO123, he said, “We’re having financial problems right now. Within few years all schools would have their own school buildings and other necessary infrastructure.”
Pertinently, SRO 123 has been issued by the Education Department on March 18, 2010 whereby strict norms have been prescribed for regulating the private schools.