At least four schools in Gurugram have announced holiday for the rest of the week after G D Goenka School’s bus carrying school kids was attacked by a mob protesting the film “Padmaavat” on Wednesday, January 24.
Despite the district administration and the Gurugram police assuring security the management of the schools have decided to shut down as a safety measure against the ongoing threats. The well known schools of the city including Pathways school, G D Goenka School, Shiv Nadar School and Delhi Public School have decided to remain closed till Sunday.
On Wednesday, a group of protestors reportedly pelted stones at the G D Goenka World School bus near Bondshi . The school bus was carrying 25 students. “We do not want to take any risk with the life of students. Protection of students outside and inside is our prime concern,” a school teacher told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
To avert any disturbances by the anti-social elements outside the cinema halls in the district, Section 144 was imposed in Gurugram, two days ahead of the release of the controversial film ‘Padmaavat’. According to a senior official, the Gurgaon police have arrested 20 people for allegedly violating prohibitory orders.
Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, which has two schools in the city suffered the total loss of Rs 5 crore after the introduction of the mandatory 25 percent quota admission for children of the economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
There are many other schools in the state that have been suffering losses due to no compensation from the government.
“I have a total of 600 seats, adding both my schools and their shifts together. We give admission to 150 RTE students every year since 2013. However, we haven’t received a single penny in terms of reimbursement from the government towards these admissions, which means we are bearing the entire cost of their education. We are a school, not a profit-making business and our fees are anyway not that high,” Nandkumar Kakirde, secretary of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, said.
Bharat Bhendarge who is a school owner from Aurangabad, sat on a protest about a fortnight ago outside the office of Director of Education in Pune because his school had lost Rs 37.5 lakh because of non-collection of fees from the 25 percent reserved seats for RTE admissions.
“I have 50 seats under RTE. Most of the time they are not filled, but the government does not allow us to take admissions on the vacant seats. They can be wasted, but not filled through regular admissions,” he claimed.
Jagrutti Dharmadhikari, president of the Independent English Schools Association (IESA) had organised a strike to demand the payment of EWS dues. Jagrutti told to Indian Express, “We had given it in writing that we will not take EWS quota admissions from next academic year if our dues are not cleared by September 30”.
In order to inculcate patriotism, a school in Madhya Pradesh have asked the students to respond to their daily roll call with a” Jai Hind”, instead of the traditional yes ma’am or yes sir. All the government schools in Satna have been directed to ensure this new rule should be implemented starting from October 1.
BJP-run Madhya Pradesh’s school education minister Vijay Shah to ANI said, “For now, this is just a suggestion (for private schools in Satna); we hope they’ll adhere to it since it relates to patriotism.”
He also added, “if the experiment turns successful”, the ‘Jai Hind’-for-yes, ma’am’ response will be made mandatory in all of Madhya Pradesh’s schools. Shah has been focused on a drive to ‘instill strong patriotic values’ in people.
Adding to his statement he also told ANI that if the mission is successful, we will also try to start this in all the schools of Madhya Pradesh after seeking CM’s permission.
Shah’s order comes after supreme court’s mandating national anthem in cinema halls across the country.
In a dubious move to add a Hindutva introduction to the educational system, the BJP government in Haryana on Wednesday approached the state School Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) to suggest shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita to be ingested into their educational program.
As per sources, a specialist group has begun setting up a system to disseminate the teachings enshrined in the Gita in schools and institutions of higher studies. The SCERT was approached after the Education Department investigated the issue.
An Indian Express report suggests the SCERT’s proposals will be referred to an educational consultative advisory group. The Consultative board is headed by retired teacher and education activist Dina Nath Batra.
“We have referred the matter to the SCERT for their scrutiny. It is dependent upon them to propose from which level Gita can be presented at school level,” the report quoted TC Gupta, director general, higher education as saying.
According to reports, the shlokas are likely to be translated in Hindi and English. A last approach on the issue would be taken by the Batra-led committe, which was formed by Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a 72-hour deadline to the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha to call an end to the strike.
Darjeeling and its sub-divisons have been shut for over 9 days now beginning on the 3rd of August. Ever since the UPA government had stepped up in its process to create Telangana, Gorkhaland has erupted with demands of its own. The bandh has crippled the mountainous district with tourism and tea business suffering great losses. Known all over the country for its reputed schools, the students are being sent back home as rations are on a steep decline.
As the bandh reached its 8th day yesterday, the Trinamool Congress supremo said that ‘enough was enough’. “For eight days, we have tolerated the strike. But now I declared the strike unconstitutional as the Calcutta High Court has done.” The CM also indicated that the leaders of GJM should stand down or else her government won’t hesitate to make arrests.
Banerjee also issued a warning to Delhi asking for minimal interference. “For one Lok Sabha seat, no has the right to play a divide and rule game. Let us act together in the matter of Darjeeling.”
The GJM chief Bimal Gurung retaliated to the statement threatening the CM with a Janata curfew. “Once the Janata curfew comes into force, not a soul will step out of their homes. The streets will be deserted if she (Mamata Banerjee) tries to break the bandh with the help of police and by force.”