Chandigarh, Oct 13: Private schools in Chandigarh on Thursday observed a ‘black day’ to protest against the alleged “excessive interference of the government in their functioning”. The protest was a part of a nationwide protest called by the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), a private schools federation.

The management of the private schools tied a black ribbon on their left arm and hung black flags outside the gates of the schools and behind the school buses. The NISA said that there has been an “excessive” interference of the government into the matters of the schools. The federation alleged that the government has been framing rules to discriminate on the basis of “affiliation, status, and infrastructure”.

The federation also accused the government has been forcing private schools to admit the students from the economically weaker section and has not been reimbursing them. They have even sent out circulars to the parents of the children.

The circular stated: “This is to inform you that private schools all over India are going to observe a Black Day on October 12 to protest the ever increasing government interference in the management of private schools. Government agencies, ranging from the Education Department, STA, CCPCR, CBSE, Parent Bodies, each agency offers its own directives some of which are impractical, others contradicting one another whereas none have been arrived at in consultation with private schools.”

It further stated: “Needless to say, this non-stop maligning of private schools is making the management and teachers feel harassed and victimised. Black Day is a silent and dignified protest and in no way will it compromise or dilute our efforts for continuous improvement in the safety and education of our children.”

The Chandigarh Parents Association (CPA), however, didn’t respond well to the Black Day protest by the private schools. The association accused the private schools of overcharging in the name of fees and government directions.