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PSAJK condemns move to seal FAT schools

Srinagar, Mar 2: The Private Schools’ Association Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) on Saturday urged the government not to bar schools run by Jamaat-e-Islami¬ (JeI), a politico-social organisation that was banned by Government of India.
The central government on Thursday banned Jamat-e-Islami (J&K) for five years on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.
So far, a number of schools run by Jamaat-e-Islami’s Fallah -e-Aam Trust (FAT) have been sealed.
Chairman, PSAJK, G N Var said that decision will directly affect the studies of around one lakh students studying in over 300 FAT schools.
He said that FAT is purely concerned with education and not with anything else including politics.
“These are government recognized private schools, teaching syllabus prescribed by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE). These schools have been abiding by the rules of the government, just like other private schools,” Var said.
Terming the closure of the schools a grave issue, he said that around 325 of them have been affected by the government’s decision.
“Any attempt to close them, will have serious repercussions, the future of one lakh students has been put at stake,” he said.
“The ban at this stage will worsen the already hit education sector,” Var added.
“Thousands of students have been thrown out from the colleges outside the state. We are still struggling to deal with the issue, trying to accommodate them. Now government is pushing us to the wall by closing the schools inside the valley. We are running out of capacity, where will the students go?” he asked.
Var said that those studying in FAT schools, generally, belong to poor families.
“FAT schools were the only option for poor children to get quality education at minimum fee. The closure of the schools will affect the poor people. The dreams realized by the poor parents that their wards will get quality education have been shattered,” he said.
“The government should take note of the interests of the poor students and treat FAT separately. It is a non-political organization. For any doubts, the government can go through the syllabus and keep an eye on the schools. The schools employ more than 10,000 people. The closure will be disastrous for them too,” Var added.