GUWAHATI, Oct 11 - The All Assam Private Schools Association (AAPSA) has extended moral support to the protest being organised by the National Independent Schools Association (NISA) throughout the country on Thursday.Different school associations of India that work closely with NISA will mark this day as ‘black day’ in protest against the different policies and practices that are creating hurdles in the functioning of private schools leading to even closure of institutions.
“These policies and practices are the result of certain beliefs based on incorrect information and narratives,” AAPSA president Pankaj Das said.
Denying the notion that private schools have mushroomed, Das said the number of private schools has risen only and solely because of the fall in the learning outcome levels of government schools. If the quality of government schools improves the number of private schools will drastically decrease, he felt.
He also negated the belief that private schools charge exorbitant fees. “This is a wrong perception as out of more than 11,000 private schools in Assam only a few schools (excluding residential), i.e. less than one per cent charge more than Rs 50,000 per annum per student. The overwhelming majority charge less than Rs 15,000 per annum per student, which is much less than what the government spends,” he claimed.
He said that the government already has enough power to regulate the private schools.
“It has all powers with all input-related norms, such as salary, land, building, teacher qualification, class size, teacher-student ratio, student strength in a class, fire safety, safe drinking water, toilets, fees to be commensurate to facilities provided, etc. In fact, there is a surfeit of input-related norms, and no regulation based on outcomes, such as academic result, cultural and sports activities etc. There is actually a need towards moving away from input-based norms to outcome-based norms,” Das said, adding that these policies and practices are harming the interest of school education.