A five-member team from the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools submitted a memorandum at the chief minister’s office on Thursday, thanking her for taking “personal interest in the past one week, in speaking to our leadership and addressing our concerns”.
The memorandum adds that the gesture “means a lot to the community”.
“We had come to give a memorandum to the chief minister. Since we are observing a silent protest today, we wanted to hand over the memorandum today itself,” said Father Moloy D’Costa, the secretary of the association.
Around 700 schools under the association, 300 more affiliated to the ICSE as well as Anglo-Indian institutions remained closed on Thursday to protest the vandalism at Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum last Thursday.
“As the chief minister was not present, we submitted the memorandum at her office. It was received by one of her officers on special duty,” Father D’Costa said.
The association expressed its wish to move on, leaving behind the incidents of the past week and hoping that such incidents would not recur.
“We have trust in you, Madam Chief Minister, and assure you our focus is on education alone. Our silent protest is done. We have no interest in taking part in processions or engaging in political activities,” Father D’Costa read out from the memorandum.
He added that teachers and students are eager to get back to the classroom and that the association is confident the chief minister would contribute to the “healing process”.
Asked about the reopening of Christ Church school, the spokesperson for the association, Rev Abir Adhikary, said: “The infrastructure of the school has been destroyed. It’ll take some time to restore that. We are not in a position to set any deadline yet. But the interest of the students is on our mind and we’ll open the school as early as possible.”
The other members of the delegation were Sister Emelia from St. Mary’s School, Entally, Rev Nirmal Sapui of the Baptist Church and Norton Emmanuel, the principal of Methodist School, Dankuni.
The state government on Wednesday rejected Presidency University's plea to defer the release of 15 non-teaching employees, including guard Pappu Singh, because of a staff shortage. A source in the government said the plea was turned down because the university had recently hired 60 non-teaching employees on a contractual basis. Registrar Prabir Dasgupta said the transferred employees would be released in phases.