Summer Vacations: A Tug of War between Provincial Govt and Private School
KARACHI: The conflicting announcements by over a dozen associations of private schools about going with or against the provincial government’s decision to extend the summer vacation till Aug 10 has kept the parents perplexed whether or not to send their children to schools on Monday morning.
A spokesman for the Sindh government on Sunday said the chief minister had ordered that all schools be kept shut across the province, including its capital, and any school defying the order be dealt with under the schools registration laws.
“The government orders are clear and all the private schools have pledged to abide by its rules, or action will be taken against them including cancellation of their registration,” said a senior government official.
Officials said Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah extended the summer vacation anticipating migration of people from the flood-hit districts to Karachi and also to make it sure that all the drains in the city were cleaned before possible torrential rains struck the city.
However, some of the 13 associations of private schools announced that they would open the schools against the government’s directive on Aug 3 as it was announced by them previously. The remaining, however, said their member schools would stay shut till Aug 10 and open on Aug 11 as per the official order.
“Our members will abide by the government order and open their premises on Aug 11,” said Shahzad Baloch of the Peak private school association, one of the major unions of the private schools’ owners in the city.
Shiraz Alam, head of the Association of Private Schools and Colleges, said his members would also follow the government directive.
“We have to abide by the rules of the schools directorate as per conditions of our registration,” he said.
Khalid Shah, head of the All Private Schools Management Association, however, said his members would open “at all costs” on Monday (today) as per the original schedule.
“We are being threatened with grave consequences if we stick to our stance to open school tomorrow, but that will not make us change our decision,” he said at a press conference on Sunday.
In the middle of all such wrangling between some private school owners and the government and bickering within the associations themselves has perturbed the parents of hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren who kept glued to TV screens, browsed the internet and called newspaper offices to know whether to prepare their children for school on Monday.
“This controversy has irritated us and our children a great deal,” said a caller from Gulshan-i-Iqbal.
It is the first time this year when the vacation in winter and summer have been extended for entirely different reasons.
There were rare announcements from schools about the schools’ reopening. For instance, BVS Parsi High School announced on its website that it would open as per schedule on Monday.
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