Many children studying in private schools here stayed at home as many private schools in the district promised the parents that the classes of the students will not be affected even if they did not come to school.
“The school where my son is studying said that they will not give attendance if he did not come to school but said that they will not handle classes even for those who came to school, as it will affect those who cannot come,” says S. Selvarani of Puduchatram.
Parents were furious that the schools did not work out strategies to oppose the new guidelines of the Government, without affecting the studies of the children. “It is unfair because many schools have already taken exorbitant transport fees from us for the entire year,” angry parents alleged.
District president of the Tamil Nadu Private Schools Federation A. Shanmugam told The Hindu that the strike was 100 per cent successful as not one bus or van owned by private schools operated on Monday.
“Attendance was very poor as the data collected from the 210 private schools in the district revealed that only 45 per cent to 50 per cent of the students came to school,” he said.
“Only about 5 per cent to 7 per cent were staying in hostels. Many parents claimed that it would be difficult for them to pick the children up in the evening.”, he added.
In Erode, road rules were taken for a ride as many two-wheelers carried more than two students to schools. Many students tried the public transport system. G. Oviya (16) of Bhavani said that this was the first time she was going to school using public transportation system. “I did not have a choice as missing class even for a day will affect my Higher Secondary Board Exam this year,” she said.
Almost all the 20,000 school buses in the State remained off the road on Monday demanding changes in the recently released policy on school buses, said D.C. Elangovan, secretary, Federation of Associations of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu on Monday.
The federation took a decision not to ply school buses on November 19 at its general body meeting held in Krishnagiri early this month in protest against certain provisions of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles (Regulation and Control of School Buses) Special Rules, 2012.
Due to this, students travelling in school buses found it hard to reach the schools through alternative mode of transport. About 15 per cent of the students were absent due to the strike, Mr. Elangovan said.