The weeklong closure of schools, starting Monday, by the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA), demanding clarity on aspects of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, has drawn flak from some quarters.
In a release, the Karnataka State School Development and Monitoring Committee Coordination Forum (SDMCCF) has described the move as “unconstitutional and in gross violation of a child’s fundamental right to education”.
In a separate statement, the Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) has described it as “unethical” and “against the interest of children”.
Jayanna and Niranjan Aradhya of SDMCCF said in a joint statement that the decision was against the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child and against the best interest of the child.
“It infringes the fundamental right of the child to free and compulsory education under Article 21-A of the Constitution and also the Right to Education legislation enacted by the State to realise the fundamental right,” they said.
The protesters were “unnecessarily raking up” a matter that was already settled in the Supreme Court; they were free to file a review petition if they wished, they said.
“Despite all these opportunities to negotiate and settle the matters in legal process, KUSMA has resorted to the extreme step of closing down schools,” the release added.
Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of CACL, said in a release, “It is unfortunate that schools, which profess to be socially responsible, are throwing these values to the wind.” He said KUSMA could have chosen other forms of protest.
Meanwhile in Tumkur, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has warned unaided institutions, who are opposing the implementation of the Right to Education Act, of action.