STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A meeting was organized by the Central Body of J&K Private Schools Association (JKPSA) Jammu to take the cognizance of all those who are solely dependent on the private schools and which are closed since April 4, 2021.All district Presidents along with their Vice Presidents and Secretaries attended this meeting and highlighted their miseries due to the irresponsible attitude of the government at all the levels. They said that several private schools still have not paid salaries, bank loan installments, EPFO & ESIC contributions, electricity bills and many more. The income has taken a dip, they said adding that now it has become worrisome for them as many parents on the one hand have shifted their children to the government schools or have now migrated their children to the Pathankot (in Punjab) from the adjoining areas viz Kathua, Lakhanpur, Basohli etc. on the other hand as daily more than 40 school vehicles ply from Punjab to carry the students from Kathua.General Secretary of the Association, Ajay Gupta showed dismay and briefed the gathering that 70 per cent of private schools charge less than Rs 1000 as a monthly fee.Due to lack of resources when the education has moves online amid pandemic, he said, these schools are unable to match up to elite ones.It would lead to subsequent shutdown of thousands of unaided schools across JK UT along with bankruptcy, suicide, depression, anxiety of all those who are having no other source of income and are solely dependent on this venture, he said adding that in the pandemic government has given preference to Digital Infrastructure and Mass Promotion which seems to be the biggest blunder with the coming generation.The sophisticated modes of online teaching like Google meet, zoom meet etc. are being used only by elite schools, he said adding that above all less than 40 per cent of the private schools and students have adopted WhatsApp as the mode for digital provision of teaching whereas more than 60 per cent students of upper reaches, poor families of rural/urban areas have no access to the digital infrastructure till date. Vice President of the Association, Rameshwar Mengi said that a big conspiracy to launch big IT companies by the government for selling online education cannot be ruled out as none of the IT Company has facilitated free of cost data to any of the students even in this pandemic.Most of the IT companies, mobile sellers, and computer sellers have earned in crores in this pandemic, he added.President of the Association, Kamal Gupta said that the wrong policies of the existing Government of JKUT have fail to fulfill the aspirations of all those private school owners who are badly affected due to regular lockdown although in last year during the regime of Girish Chandra Murmu, former Lieutenant Governor a financial package was announced for the teaching and non teaching staff members of private schools but till none has bothered for this venture.He demanded clear cut order for the immediate restoration of offline classes with COVID Appropriate Behaviour as done in February 2021 to reopen the schools in phased manner for the longer interest of the society.The members who spoke in the meeting were Ram Parkash, Sat Paul Mansotra, Ashwani Khajuria, Deepak Handa, Lal Chand Gandotra, Raj Dev Singh, Sat Paul Khajuria, Gurbax Singh and Parshotam Lal.
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