Srinagar: Private schools that were approached by a panel of Jammu and Kashmir Police to request for reservation and fee concession for their wards, have turned down the request.
Kashmir Reader has learned from its sources that 18 top private schools in south Kashmir were approached individually for a meeting with the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Kashmir, through a letter from Deputy Superintendent of Police sent from the Anantnag headquarters.
The principal of one of these schools who attended the meeting with the DIG on March 27 told Kashmir Reader, on the condition of anonymity, “We told the DIG that we have a private school association and thus cannot take a decision regarding your proposal individually. We told him that whatever will be the decision of Kashmir Private School Association, we will abide by that.”
The DIG, according to the principal, requested for reservation and fee concession because of the nature of the job of policemen. “He said that policemen are not able to take care of their children properly because of the nature of their job, and if their kids are provided admission in our schools, they will get quality education,” the principal said.
“Police offered us to develop infrastructure such as construction of smart classes and other services, if the reservation and fee concession was provided,” he said.
Manzoor Ahmad Rather, Vice President of Private School Association of Anantnag district, told Kashmir Reader that the association rejected the police proposal by terming it as an attack on the “autonomy of private schools.”
One of the senior members of the association, wishing not to be named, said, “It’s simple:police wanted to use private schools for their political gain.” He said that the association objected to the police proposal because schools were not meant for “political purposes.”
Manooj Pandita, PRO Police, told Kashmir Reader that police never asked private schools for reservation and fee concession as reported by the media. “There is nothing like police is seeking reservations or has asked for it. We just asked our DIGs to discuss the proposal in a consolidated meeting,” he said.
The Kashmir Private School Association in a nine-point statement issued to the press said that private schools cannot provide any kind of reservation and fee concession because they are already under a financial crunch
The association also said that private schools cannot discriminate between police and civilians. “A child is a child and we have nothing to do with whether his/her parents are policemen or civilians,” the statement said, adding, “Police has its own welfare fund and also its own school—Police Public School.”
The statement pointed out that private schools were already providing fee concessions to poor and destitute children studying in their institutions. “Police are paid for their services. What about the deserving and poor civilians?” the association questioned.