Kendriya Vidyalaya of University of Hyderabad set to close; Fate of 240 students at stake

It is enough to continue for three years, said a parent, adding that it would give their children enough time to complete their studies in KV without any disruption
Glimpse from the protest | (Pic: EdexLive)
Glimpse from the protest | (Pic: EdexLive)

Confusion and chaos have unfurled amongst students of Kendriya Vidyalaya of the University of Hyderabad (KV-UoH) as UoH released a circular to completely shut down KV on its campus and convert it back into a campus school in the upcoming academic year. The conflicting claims of KV Sangathan (KVS) and UoH have only added to the turmoil, as KVS states that UoH is supposed to continue the KV till 2026 as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached by the two parties, UoH maintains that establishment of KV on its campus was never considered, and it had to fund the school internally. 

Meanwhile, parents and students of KV-UoH staged protests at the main gate of the Hyderabad Central University campus a couple of days ago, waving placards and chanting slogans. "The uncertainty surrounding the situation is placing immense pressure on the students who are unsure if they will continue studying at KV or be relocated elsewhere," shares a concerned parent.

According to a KV-UoH teacher, the university had signed an MoU with KV authorities a decade ago to convert the campus school into a KV. However, due to internal issues, UoH wanted to withdraw KV from the campus and convert it back into a campus school. The teacher explained that KV had already begun withdrawing one class per year, with Classes 1 to 6 being withdrawn over the past six years. However, six months ago, UoH insisted that KV authorities pack up all classes by March 31, 2023.

The teacher added, "KV Sanghatan cannot abandon its students in such a manner. As per the MoU, UoH must wait three more years until class 10 is withdrawn." Despite UoH's suggestion to accommodate these students in a nearby KV, KV says that the nearby KV at Gachibowli is overcrowded and cannot accommodate these 240 students. 

Further, the teacher stated that UoH argues that their MoU is valid only until 2023, but KV claims that the old MoU will be enforced until a new one is reached. The matter is now pending with the Ministry of Education (MoE), and in the meantime, parents and students are protesting outside the university gate. "Students and parents are also protesting outside the university gate, demanding that KV continues on UoH for three more years," said the teacher. UoH also offered to accommodate KV-UoH students in their new campus school, but that too was met with conflicts. 

"The parents admitted their children to KV-UoH with the expectation that they would complete their education there, it is a brand after all. It is unfair to withdraw the school abruptly and leave the students stranded. I strongly believe that UoH must honour the MoU and continue with KV until the completion of Class 10." The MoU which was signed in 2013, expired this year, however, KV teacher claims that an MoU must be respected till another one is reached, adding, "In case of conflict, the decision of the commissioner KVS is final or binding."

The University of Hyderabad (UoH) in its statement regarding the closure of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) on its campus, remarked that the decision was made due to severe financial constraints faced by the university. The university also stated that the proposal of the university for the establishment of KV was not considered by MHRD and UGC which left them with no choice but to fund the school internally. 

"This unexpected development has left the University with no other alternative but to pay from its internal resources for all purposes connected with the continuation of KV. As the financial resources started depleting year by year, the University realized that continuation of KV-UoH is no longer a viable option," states the university. Further the statement also mentions the University of Hyderabad Campus School (UHCS), which, the university says will be brought to "full-fledged operation by offering admissions up to 10th Class from the academic year 2022-23 and to absorb all the students studying in KV-UoH in to UHCS.

The teachers on the other hand will be accommodated by KVS in their other branches, as per sources. The university also claimed in its statement that KV teachers have been spreading rumours, "It is also learnt that the teachers of KV-UoH have been spreading rumors among students and parents and are creating more confusion about continuation of KV-UoH."  Further, the university also assures that it will consider to sponsor KV-UoH if such a proposal comes from the MoE. "If this is going to be the decision of the MoE, the University would like to request MoE to consider reimbursing Rs. 20.00 Crores to the University, the amount spent by the University towards KV-UoH since its inception." 

At present, there are only students in Classes 7, 8 and 9. Parents and students demanded that the current students should be allowed to continue their education in KV-UoH until the end of their studies, or be shifted to other Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV). They are worried that their children's education will be disrupted if they are removed from KV, which has a well-known brand and curriculum. "Moreover, my daughter has been studying at KV since Class 1, and the fee structure is affordable, we won't be able to afford private school fees," a parent added. Additionally, they are anxious that admission to a different school might be difficult, especially in higher classes.

To amplify their voices, the parents have created a Twitter handle, @saveKVUOH, and shared the letter they wrote to Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. In the letter, they appeal to the minister to use his special powers to allow KV to operate on the UoH campus until the end of the academic year 2025-26, to ensure the existing students can pass out successfully. "It is enough to continue for three years," said a parent, adding that it would give their children enough time to complete their studies in KV without any disruption. Meanwhile, the question "what does the future hold for us?" looms large along with the dreams and aspirations of the students.

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