The private schools of Kashmir have reacted sharply to the ‘loot’ remark made by education minister for the fee charged by private educational institutes.
Terming the remarks as highly unfortunate the Private Schools United Front (PSUF) offered to provide free and quality education to each and every student in Kashmir if government spends just half of its education budget on private educational institutes. “The use of word loot by an education minister is highly unfortunate. For them hoarding and selling of low quality item by shopkeepers is an aberration but providing of best quality education against some fee is a loot,” said G N Var, chairman PSUF. “Maybe for them the work done by government schools is some kind of charity. Before making such remarks they forget that their own sons and daughter study at these schools.”
The front said that government is trying hard to portray itself as the saviour of people by such pleasing slogans but if they are sincere then their work should display the same on ground. “They have billions of rupees of budget that is spent on government schools and what do we get there; appointment scandals, transfer industry, low work culture and grooming of the children with lowest quality of education,” said Var. “Let us propose one thing. We will provide free and quality education to each and every student in Kashmir provided they spend just half of their per-student budget on us.”
The front said that it will be a win-win situation for everybody. “Your money and our quality of service will bring an education revolution in the state,” said Var. “But the question is are they ready.”
The front said that the government has a tunnel vision of private schools. “For them private schools are just few missionary and outside schools in Srinagar. And it is only their service or existence, which matters to them. The unfortunate part is that if they come to know their high cost of service they are even afraid to name them,” said Var. “Private schools are much more than that. We have private schools that provide education for a meagre fee of just Rs 50. There are many schools run by darsgahs. Does education minister term all of them as looters?”
The front also criticized the education minister’s for asking Rs 1000 from higher secondary students. “If the same order would have been taken by private schools they would jumped on the statement to call us big looters, but when they do it. It is normal,” said Var. “They can’t get aid from centre so the best option for them is force poor Kashmiris to cough up the money.”
The front demanded an apology for education minister for the ill-conceived remarks. “The education minister should apologise to thousands of schools and its dedicated staff who have been keeping the candle of education burning in Kashmir,” said Var. “There are schools outside state who demand donation of Rs 10 lakh and even many students from the state too study there. The education minister in those state don’t call them looters.”
The front asked the government to put its efforts on improving education sector rather than making such statements.