Published: 08th January 2019
After traders, Kerala schools now want to work during hartals
The umbrella body of private school management said they were willing to open educational institutions on hartal day provided the government provides adequate security
After traders, it's now the turn of unaided private schools in Kerala to join hands against hartal. The reason: loss of class hours due to frequent strikes and shutdowns, leaving students in the lurch. As a first step, representatives of various private school managements gathered together in Kozhikode to chalk out ways to get the school education sector exempted from hartal.
As against the prescribed minimum working days of 220, schools in the state could clock only 135 days till December 31, 2018. With barely three months remaining for the academic year to end, schools would get just another 45 working days taking the total to a mere 180. This was primarily the reason for school managements to join hands and float a 'school collective'.
The umbrella body of private school managements, which met on Monday, said they were willing to open educational institutions on hartal day provided the government provides adequate security. However, the body will first initiate discussions with various stakeholders including government, political parties and trade unions and create awareness among them on the need to exempt schools from hartal.
"We cannot open schools on hartal day like shops as the safety of children is involved. Hence we will strive to initiate a wide-ranging discussion in society on the issues as our children, especially those studying in schools affiliated to national boards, are at a disadvantage when compared to children from other states," said Nisar Olavanna, president of Private School Management Coordination committee.
Asked about the possibility of curtailing summer vacation to make up for the lost class hours, Prof P Kutialikutty, president of the Kozhikode district committee of CBSE Management Association said it was impractical due to various reasons. "National boards follow a uniform academic calendar which cannot be tailor-made for states," he said adding that the only solution would be to avoid loss of the prescribed working days.
He said the aim of the school management is not to give a call to boycott hartal but to create proper awareness so that the demand to exempt education sector from hartal comes from within the society.