BENGALURU: More than 30,000 teachers, non-teaching staff, support staff, including drivers, attenders and security staff, and members of managements of private schools across the state will hit the streets on Tuesday to protest against the government's decision to reduce the tuition fee, and other issues.The protest, organised by the Karnataka Private School Management, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff Co-ordination Committee, will have over 10 private schools organisations marching from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station at 10 am and head to Freedom Park to protest recent government orders, including on existing private schools implementing safety norms.
Schools in Bengaluru will be shut on Tuesday and compensatory classes will be held on Saturday. "We have approached officials and ministers six times since the announcement of the protest, but there was no response," said D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS).
Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary, Management of Independent CBSE Schools' Association (MICSA), said they hope the protest will draw the government's attention. "No one wants to take to the streets to protest, but we have been put in that position. If the education secretary had discussed the issues with us, we could have come up with a solution. But we were bulldozed into reducing school fees."
He said that though the Commissioner for Public Instruction had called a meeting to discuss school fees, there was consensus and no percentage reduction was mentioned. "Our view was that a 100% rebate can be given to parents who lost their jobs. But, the meeting concluded haphazardly and the next thing, tuition fees were reduced by 30% for all," he said.
Private schools in rural Karnataka, however, will not participate in the protest. Lokesh Talikatte, president, Recognised Unaided Private Schools Association, said, "We welcome the cut in tuition fees by 30%. As for the other demands, including withdrawing the order on implementing safety norms, we extend our support in spirit. We will not close schools."