SRINAGAR: The Private Coaching Centres Association in Kashmir has decided to move the High Court against the government’s order to shut down all tuition and coaching centres for school students for 90 days.
President of the association, Junaid Yousif, told Kashmir Reader that the association will go to High Court on Monday to challenge the order, which he described as unconstitutional and anti-student.
Education Minister Altaf Bukhari on Sunday said that private tuition centres have become a distraction for students and will be shut for 90 days. He made these remarks after holding a meeting of bureaucrats in the education department. He did not elaborate on what he meant by “distraction”.
The move seems to be aimed at forcing students back into schools and colleges to attend classes. Students have repeatedly been protesting on streets and clashing with government forces, the latest cause being the rape and murder of a Gujjar minor girl in Jammu region’s Kathua district. The government has had to repeatedly close schools and colleges in the aftermath of such massive and often violent student protests.
“The order is dictatorial in nature. We were not asked even once before such diktats were issued. What kind of democratic society this is where an order comes from one man to keep the fate of 50,000 students hanging? What will the education minister get out of it?” asked Junaid, who represents more than 100 private coaching centres in Kashmir Valley.
Junaid said that if the intention of the order is to prevent student protests, then the government should have closed schools and colleges, which have been the epicentre of protests. Not even a single protest in recent days, Junaid said, had started from tuition centres.
He said that parents have been sending their children to tuition centres because they of the quality education they provide.
“In the past 50 days, schools and colleges have remained shut for 30 days. In contrast to this, students have attended classes for 45 days at tuition centres. It is the government that shuts educational institutions, not we. Will the schools now start providing the education that tuition centres provide? No. Had it been so, there would have been no tuition centres,” Junaid said.
Junaid said that the ban will most impact students from Class 8 to 12, The ban will also imperil the livelihood of more than 5,000 people, he said.
“As this order makes no sense, we will challenge the government in the High Court. We are holding a meeting and will chalk our strategy for future action,” he added.