– Sukanya Nandy
National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) president, Kulbhushan Sharma, has sent a defamation notice to Rajasthan education minister Govind Singh Dotasara, for using the word ‘Dhanda’ against education management several times during a recent press briefing. This came after several private schools in Rajasthan called for an indefinite strike over fee row.
The Rajasthan government had earlier issued orders that CBSE schools and the Rajasthan board should reduce the tuition fees by 30-40 percent for the current academic year in accordance with the reduced syllabus. According to the Forum of Private Schools in Rajasthan, these orders are creating a lot of dilemmas and have several ambiguities which have badly affected around 50,000 schools and 11 lakh employees.
The legal notice, dated November 10, 2020, states that use of such derogatory remarks such as “dhanda” against school managements not only defames them but also tarnishes their image in the eyes of the public.
NISA, on behalf of the member schools is “raking up the issue” so that they could fight for their legitimate rights. As per the notice, the NISA members have asked the state education minister to take responsibility for his remarks and apologise immediately. In case he fails to do so within 15 days, the association will initiate Rs.10 crore defamation proceedings against him in the Rajasthan High Court.
“As the syllabus has been reduced, the Rajasthan government also asked us to reduced the school fee. But that doesn’t mean that the number of school days to be attended will reduce. The number of classes and school days will remain the same; the number of teachers will remain the same and even the electricity bill will be the same due to online classes. As a result, all the schools went on an indefinite strike. Now, the education minister has called school management as ‘dhanda’. This has hurt our sentiments,” says Kulbhusan Sharma president, NISA.
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