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The tussle between the leading multinational education company- GEMS and its local trustees running the school at Bijbehara town have put the career of over 450 students at stake.

The GEMS Education has decided to withdraw the franchise and stop operating the school while the local management has expressed its helplessness to conduct exams through Central Board of School Education (CBSE).

The two parties have been at loggerheads with each other over the ‘clash of interests’ since February last year with the education company also accusing the trustees of mismanaging the school.

The GEMS Education had then asked the local trustees not to use brand GEMS but later society decided to directly take over its operation and management.

The local trustee, meanwhile, approached the court to settle the disputes with the education company and the matter is subjudice.

However, last week the education company mailed a letter to the parents of the students wherein they categorically expressed their ‘unwillingness’ to operate the school leaving the students in lurch and parents worrisome about the career of their children.

“We admitted our kids in the GEMS school considering it is a multinational brand. The school was charging us more than Rs 5000/ per month besides Rs 30,000/ at the time of admission. But now we are being told by GEMS management that that they won’t be able to operate school. We feel duped by both GEMS as well as the local school management,” said a group of parents wishing anonymity.

They said that they are contemplating to take legal course.

“It is between GEMS education and local trustees to settle their financial aspects. What we want is GEMS education to run the affairs of the school," the parents said.

“The local school management has told us that they won’t be able to conduct the examination of 8th class students through CBSE now,” they added. 

The education company on the other hand states that the court order has restrained them from running the school. “The local trustees instead of negotiating the terms and conditions which they had agreed upon went to the court. So, we expressed our unwillingness to operate the school,” said, Nainu Kumar an official in public relation GEMS Education.

Kumar, however, was quick to add they won’t let students suffer and a positive development is expected soon. 

John Ulfat – one of the local trustees, however, accused the GEMS Education of shying away from the responsibility and also blamed certain vested interests of creating confusion.

“Let me make it clear that no one can change the nomenclature of the school at all as the matter is subjudice. The school continues to remain GEMS. The court will have to take the final call. The parents need not to worry. Their career is safe,” Ulfat said.

He said that their motive to approach court was only to bring GEMS education on board in realistic terms nothing more. “The GEMS management is trying to overthrow the local management,” Ulfat alleged.

Asked, if the school would be able to hold exam of 8th class students through CBSE, he said, “The 8th class examination is any how held by State Institute of Education. However, it was the domain of GEMS management to conduct same according to local academic session. Now the school education department would conduct their supplementary examination.” 

Chief Education Officer (CEO) Anantnag Nasir Ahmad said that the matter is subjudice but assured that he won’t let the students suffer. “The parents of the students have met me regarding examination of their wards. So I accordingly asked the school management to apply for same through State Board of School Education,” the CEO said adding they have the provision for supplementary examination.

The trustees of the school were earlier running the school in the name of Crescent in Bijbehara town which they later closed down. In 2014 the school was established with much fanfare under the brand name of Everon public school in Bijbehara and the same trustees took over its management. Next year the school was re branded as GEMS Public School- run by a multinational educational company with schools in almost 14 countries attracting parents from southern district of Kashmir. 

Even former Chief Minister Mufti Muhamad Sayeed after taking over the reins of the state visited the school along with the present Chief Minister and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti to take stock of the facilities offered by the school.

Meanwhile, the teachers of the school alleged that they have been denied salary for many months. “We have been giving our best to the school. But at the end of the month we don’t even get our due. Our salary of many months is still pending,” the teachers said.