Students and parents stage protest against government’s decision to take over aided girls high school

‘The decades-old school provides a secure environment for our children’

Scores of students and parents staged a protest, holding up traffic on the busy Gnanapuram Main Road, on Monday, demanding that the Sacred Heart Girls High School not be taken over by the government but continued as an aided school at the same place.

The parents say they are sending their daughters to this school from far-off places on the outskirts of the city as the decades-old school provides a secure environment. “There are government schools in our localities, but we prefer this school,” says a mother.

The State government proposal to take over aided schools and merge them with government schools continues to draw flak from parents and managements. This is despite the AP High Court judgment directing the State government not to coerce unwilling aided schools to accept its offer.

Visakhapatnam South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar tried to pacify the agitating parents. He said that the State government had decided to take over private aided schools, which had meagre strength and merge them with the nearby government schools. Missionary schools like the Sacred Heart School have a very large number of students on their rolls and they would not be taken over. There seems to be communication gap among the aided school managements, he said.

“The State government is trying to take over the lands of the aided schools. Some of the staff members are also supporting the government thinking that they would get better salaries and perks. The officials are exerting pressure on the managements of aided schools to hand over their lands, and in the process the whole education system is being destroyed,” says Malladi Raju, working president of MSN Charities Parirakshana Samithi.

The MSN Charities Trust runs several educational institutes for the poor and a Veda Patasala in Kakinada. The Trust, established in 1912, owns 1,258.53 acres of land and now the State government is eyeing the lands, he alleged.

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