Parents are presented with 28 school options but raise concerns about the abrupt sealing of schools mid-session.

Mohammad Faisal, a 42-year-old shop owner in Rampur city, Uttar Pradesh, expresses worry for his daughter, Fatima Noor, who has been experiencing panic attacks since November 10. The Rampur Public School (girls wing) where Noor studies was sealed due to alleged rule violations, affecting 632 girls from nursery to class VIII.

Faisal describes his daughter as an exceptional student, ranking first or second in all exams. The Education Department and Rampur administration have provided a list of 28 alternative schools for the affected students. However, only 10 parents have approached the administration, and they too express their intent to admit their daughters in the next academic session.

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet’s decision on October 31 to reclaim land from the Muhammad Ali Jauhar Trust, which operates the school, has cast uncertainty over the future of the students. The trust, led by senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, faced the transfer of land to the state’s Secondary Education Department.

Parents question the timing of the school’s sealing in the middle of the academic session. Uzma Zeeshan, a mother of a class 6 student, criticizes the government’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative, highlighting the financial burden of private schools suggested as alternatives. The Rampur Public School, under the CBSE Board, provided a concession to economically weaker families.

Started in 2016, the school, run by the Jauhar Trust, employed 28 staff members and served students at reduced fees. Despite the sealing, classes resumed in a temporary building a kilometer away.

Principal Azra Naz Khan expresses uncertainty about the students’ future, emphasizing the financial strain of private schools. The administration had taken similar action against the Rampur Public School Co-ed last year.

Rampur Basic Shiksha Adhikari Sanjeev Kumar acknowledges the reluctance of parents to shift their daughters mid-session. A committee has been formed to address concerns, with 28 English-medium CBSE schools identified as alternatives. Despite efforts, only 10 parents have responded, indicating a preference to move in the next academic session.

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