SRINAGAR: Three days after announcing that it will challenge the government in the High Court, the Private Coaching Centre Association (PCCA) meekly surrendered on Wednesday after the J&K government issued a formal order to shut down all tuition and coaching centres for school students.
The PCCA also submitted details to the government of the fees charged at tuition centres, the number of students, the courses taught, etc. PCCA President Junaid Yousif told Kashmir Reader that the association has complied with the government’s orders and now the issue of refund of fees remains to be considered.
“The government asked us to submit details of fees class-wise and course-wise. We have done that. Now it is up to the government to take a call. We earlier defied the government because there were no written orders. When orders came, we followed,” Yousif said.
The government formally issued an order late on Tuesday, nearly three days after Education Minister Altaf Bukhari gave the order verbally at a meeting of education officials and school principals on Sunday. The PCCA at first said it would challenge the “unconstitutional” and “anti-student” order in the High Court, then the next day said it will defy the order by continuing to keep the tuition and coaching centres running. On Tuesday, it distanced itself from the claim of defiance, saying the tuition and coaching centres were functioning only because no written order had come from the government to shut them down.
As per the written government order, the tuition and coaching centres for school students would remain shut for 90 days, but the order may be reviewed after every 15 days.
Muhammad Murtaza, parent of a Class 12 student, said that the government order is “okay” but its timing is not appropriate as it is the middle of the academic session.
“Doing this in the middle of the session will cost students both in time and money. I wish good sense prevails,” he said.
Ali Naqash, parent of a Class 11 student, appealed to the government to take some immediate steps to ensure that the students’ careers do not suffer.
“Kashmir is not any other state of India. Here a killing keeps Kashmir shut for days together, during which schools remain closed but coaching centres remain open. If the centres will also remain closed, then when there is a shutdown, where will our children go?” he asked.
Altaf Bukhari, when contacted by Kashmir Reader, said he was busy in a meeting. “Please talk to my secretary. I am in a meeting,” he said. Farooq Shah, his secretary, told Kashmir Reader that it was the directorate of school education that had issued the order, so the comments must be sought from them.