Bihar schools shut down in protest


Staff member
Patna: Teaching in all private schools in Bihar was paralysed yesterday as they remained shut to protest the state government's order for compulsory registration of schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

According to a report, there are around 25,000 private schools functioning independently in the state catering to more than six million students, but now it has become mandatory for them to be registered with the government.

Under the RTE Act, it has been made compulsory for private schools to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children from economically deprived classes.

In addition to that, the Act also requires these schools to have certain minimum facilities like adequate teachers, playgrounds and infrastructure.

But the private school associations have strongly resented the government's move, saying it is a violation of their rights as laid down in the Constitution, and an unnecessary interference in their managements.

"How can private schools allow the state government to interfere in their managements and day-to-day affairs? We will certainly not bow before the government's pressures," D.K. Sinha, the convenor of the confederation of four school organisations — Independent Schools Association, Christian Minority Association, Bihar Public Schools and Children's Welfare Association and Muslim Education Welfare Association — told the media yesterday.

Another private schools representative said the state government had failed to improve the conditions of its own schools, but is now dictating terms to the private schools, thus playing with the careers of over six million children.

However, the state government has clarified it had no intention of interfering with the management of the private schools; instead it wants these schools to strictly follow the norms laid down in the RTE.