New Delhi: The largest congregation of budget private schools in India, National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), along with 36 state associationsand parent forums across 24 states, carried out an unprecedented feat by organising the largest rally for reform in education in India. Close to one lakh stakeholders from the school ecosystem, consisting of concerned educators, school management, teachers, principals and parents from all over the country gathered at Ramlila Maidan today, to collectively deliberate on the challenges of school education and demand for reforms. The large gathering in Ramlila Maidan was preceded by meetings and media briefings in 36+ cities across 24+ states to sensitise and engageparticipantsfor over a month.
The campaign received overwhelming support from people on the ground and through the online advocacy efforts. After the rally, a charter of demands was submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar. The top 3 demands emerging out of the campaign include: each parent to be empowered with Rs 2,500 /- per child per month to meet the schooling expenses of their children, the safety and security of all students, teachers, management and school premise to be ensured, along with amendments to RTE Act 2009 for learning outcome based school recognition system instead of mere infrastructure based norms which have led to thousands of schools to close down.
Speaking Exclusively to Ten New, Kulbhushan Sharma, National President of NISA said, “The echo-system of education is falling apart and educators are under fear today due to unsafe environment. While the state of education calls for urgent reform, government seems to be working only for appeasement and quick fix. For its contribution in providing education voluntarily, private schools and teachers have also been given a respectful position in society. However, today when state has taken up the responsibility of providing free and compulsory education to all children, it is increasing control over education system and providers. This has led to increasing intervention into school management by government and has become threat to schools’ autonomy.”
Protesters gathered at Ramlila Maidan Collectively said, “the widely celebrated Right to Education Act of 2009, even with all its good intentions, is inherently a flawed and divisive instrument.the expansion of private institutions has created a parallel education system, a system that is now in danger. The litany of requirements under the RTE Act threatens to wipe out a mechanism that facilitates quality education to millions of children in the country.”