August 07, 2022

Haryana Teachers Protest against CHEERAG

Satyapal Siwach

HARYANA school teachers organised protest actions against the CHEERAG scheme of the state government. Under this scheme, the government will reimburse fee of those students who leave government schools and join private schools. An amount of Rs 700 to Rs 1100 will be given as relief/assistance/grant per month. Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh and other teachers’ organisations protest this transfer of public funds to promote privatisation of education. 


CM Haryana Equal Education Relief, Assistance and Grant scheme is called CHEERAG. Students who leave government school and join a private school from Class 2-12 will be paid Rs 700 to Rs 1100 per month. Rs 700 will be given for Class 2-5, Rs 900 for Class 6-8 and Rs 1100 for Class 9-12. This year 25,000 students will be availing benefit of this scheme. Students whose family income is upto Rs 1,80,000 per annum are entitled to apply under this scheme.

Private schools are asked to declare number of seats available. Interested students could apply for admission for these seats. No parameter or norms have been defined regarding availability of seats. It means schools are free to declare as they wish.

There has been a dilemma about section 134 A of Haryana School Education Act, 2003 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The State Act of 2003 is about terms and conditions for recognition of private schools. Section 134 A of this Act mandates private schools to reserve 25 per cent of total seats for students from deprived sections, without taking any fees. Schools never followed the said rule. Later, the state government made a provision of reimbursement of fee and reduced the number of seats from 25 to 10 per cent. Even then, only a few students were admitted in private schools, and this happened only because of the agitations every year. A few months earlier, the government withdrew 134 A and put forward a new scheme called "CHEERAG".

Rule 12 (1-C) of Chapter Four of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 also mandates private schools to make available 25 per cent of their seats for students of BPL (below poverty line) families. No private school or government official bothered about the same.

The CHEERAG scheme is a major step towards commercialisation of education. Last year, the state government had converted 136 senior secondary and 1418 primary schools, a total of 1554 schools into "model sanskriti schools". These schools were affiliated to CBSE. Only a change of name has now resulted in charging of fee from students which goes against the provisions and motives of RTE. The fee structure is as below:

Admission Fee

Class 1 to 5: Rs 500

Class 6 to 12: Rs 1000 

Monthly Fee

Class 1 - 3    : Rs 200

Class 4 - 5.   : Rs 250

Class 6 - 8    : Rs 300

Class 9 -10   : Rs 400

Class 11- 12 : Rs 500

It may appear as a trivial issue, but its message is obviously damaging: If you study in government school you have to pay fee, but if you shift to a private school your fee will be reimbursed. Every child has a right to get compulsory, free and quality education. This is the duty of the state government to arrange the same for every child. The government is backtracking from this responsibility.

The state government has taken many steps under NEP-2020 to promote privatisation of education. Going beyond the direction of the RTE, uploading of Aadhaar and Parivar Pahchan Patr has been made mandatory. It caused zero admissions in more than 1000 schools. Total enrolment reduced by 1.5 lakhs. It will have long-term and multiple adverse implications. Hundreds of primary schools may be closed or merged this year. The same condition will be there for middle schools after five years and after another two or three years, most of the government schools would be closed. Thereafter, paltry incentive schemes will not exist.

The government has already caused much harm to weaken public education system. Merger of all schools present in a village; merging girls middle schools in the name of co-education; primary schools with less than 30 students and middle schools with less than 50 students to be merged together; schools within 5 kilometres radius to be merged – all this is being done in the name of optimum use of resources.

More than 50,000 posts of school teachers are lying vacant and trained teachers are available, but the government has introduced a policy of re-employment of retired teachers. Teachers are being appointed on contractual basis in Mewat, a region which is economically and educationally backward. Posts of teachers are being abolished by increasing workload. This is what they call "rationalisation". Under the RTE, books must be given free of cost to all students upto 8th class, but for the last three years, books have not been supplied. Even these books are not available in the market. Classes 1 and 2 are planned to be shifted to Anganwadi centres. It will also become a reason for closure of many of the primary schools. In addition to it, a number of non-teaching tasks are assigned to teachers. It will adversely affect the already understaffed schools. They talk loudly of cleanliness campaign, but thousands of schools are deprived of basic infrastructure, electricity, water, play ground, computer, wifi connection etc. Admissions for D.Ed are not allowed in government-run DIETs, but only in private institutions.


July 2022 witnessed protest actions against CHEERAG and other decisions of the government. Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh and some other teachers associations organised protest marches at Sirsa, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bhattu Kalan, Ratia, Jakhal, Jind, Yamuna Nagar, Kaithal, Bhiwani, Nuh, Palwal, Faridabad, Sonipat, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Mohindergarh, Rohtak, Panipat, Jhajjar, Guru gram, Panchkula, Charkhi Dadri, Rewari and Naraingarh. More than ten thousand teachers participated in the protest actions with 40 per cent being female teachers. In Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Charkhi Dadri, demonstrations were held under a broad platform –Teachers' Samyukta  Morcha. None of the organisations supported the  government's scheme.

One more indication enthused the teachers, all the parents and other stakeholders extended their support in favour of public education system. Haryana Vidyalaya Adhyapak Sangh resolves to form a broader front with all the teachers and toiling masses in this fight to save public education.