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10 November 2011

BIHAR: Classes on, weekend strike off

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By Smita Kumar

Patna: Students across the state today heaved a sigh of relief after around 150 private institutions under the banner of Association of Independent Schools of Bihar and 19 under Muslim Educational Welfare Association decided to pull out of the proposed two-day strike.

The private schools had decided to go on the strike from November 11 under the banner of the Co-ordination Committee of Public School Associations of Bihar to protest against the directive to get registered with the state government by November 12. On Sunday, 17 schools under the Christian Educational Minority Society had decided to pull out of the agitation.

The schools owing allegiance to the Muslim Educational Welfare Association, Association of Independent Schools of Bihar and the Christian Educational Minority Society have also decided to register themselves with the state government. The dual move of the 186 and odd schools would bring back sanity in the education scenario, hit by the row between the state human resource development (HRD) department and the authorities of the private schools over registration.

Welcoming the twin decisions, Mamta Singh, mother of a Class IX student, said: “The decision to pull out of the strike would ensure continuity in studies.”

Class VIII student Gaurav Kumar said: “I would have lost focus had my school remained shut on November 11 and 12 over the registration row.”

Most of the reputed schools in the city have decided to get registered with the government. Eight schools under the Christian Educational Minority Society and four owing allegiance to Association of Independent Schools of Bihar confirmed that they would fill up the self-declaration-cum-application form for the state’s recognition under protest since the petitions challenging the Right to Education Act are sub judice.

G.J. Galstaun, the secretary of the Christian Minority Educational Society, told The Telegraph: “All schools under the Christian Minority Educational Society and the Association of Independent Schools of Bihar have decided to fill up the form taking into consideration the future of the children.” Sources said the Association of Independent Schools of Bihar and the Christian Educational Minority Society walked the truce path after HRD principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh assured their representatives on Saturday of no undue interference by the government after registration.

The members of the Co-ordination Committee of Public School Associations of Bihar are still adamant on going on strike. The classes will remain suspended at Pioneer High School and Holy Mission School under Private Schools and Children’s Welfare Association on November 11 and 12. They have decided not to apply for the registration.

Taking strong exception to the stand of such institutions, HRD deputy director R.S. Singh said the schools not seeking registration by November 12 would not be issued no-objection certificate to conduct classes.

(Courtesy: The Telegraph, Kolkata)

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