Chandigarh’s schools irked at administration’s ‘interference’

Chandigarh, Nov 24 ( Private schools in Chandigarh have taken objection to the administration’s “double standards” and accused it of “interfering” in their functioning in implementing swine flu guidelines. Officials said they were only trying to stop the epidemic’s spread among students.

The Chandigarh health department has asked all the educational institutes here to either cancel or postpone their annual functions and other events, where hundreds of students are expected to gather. It also asked the school authorities to screen every student in the morning and to send back those who exhibit any swine flu symptoms.

“Chandigarh administration is adopting double standards while dealing with schools and colleges. They have directed us to cancel all our programmes but they are not restricting the city’s colleges,” H.S. Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association, told Inditop Tuesday.

“Rules should be same for everyone and we would not tolerate the unnecessary bossy attitude of the administration. Ironically, administration is busy in preparing for Chandigarh Carnival in which 300,000 to 400,000 visitors are expected. Their standards are clearly unreasonable and do not adhere to any rational point,” he added.

“We do not want anybody’s intervention in our functioning as we are capable enough to take our own decisions. Absenteeism has increased and some children are faking a cough to be sent back from school, hence no serious study is taking place,” Mamik said.

The association has 55 schools as its members. So far five of them have been closed for one week, after their students reported flu-like symptoms.

However, officials of Chandigarh administration maintained that they are not interfering in the functioning of private schools.

“We are only trying to curb the infection of this virus and we are not interfering in any school. These directions are necessary as school children are the most affected from swine flu in Chandigarh,” said an official of Chandigarh administration.

On the Chandigarh Carnival, he said: “It is an important annual event of Chandigarh, therefore, it is not possible to cancel it. However, taking precautionary measures we have issued special advisory to the residents of Chandigarh educating them about dos and don’ts to curb the spread of infection.”

So far, Chandigarh hospitals have got over 120 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) virus, which include nearly 60 students.