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Send kids to govt school, HC tells officials; UP society applauds

Rohit Ghosh | Updated on: 20 August 2015, 1:53 IST

The order

  • The Allahabad HC has ordered all govt servants and politicians to send their kids to govt schools
  • It has asked the UP chief secy to implement this order by the next academic year
  • It was hearing a petition challenging the process of selection of teachers in govt schools

The reaction

  • UP\'s civil society has hailed the order, saying it\'ll help improve the state of govt schools
  • Former DGP Brij Lal says that the present conditions of the schooling system is not conducive for excellence

The Allahabad High Court, on 18 August, issued an order saying all government servants, elected representatives and members of judiciary should send their children to government primary schools.

People from across all sections of society have surprisingly hailed the decision, which the court has asked the state's Chief Secretary to implement from the next academic session.

The order came on a petition filed by Umesh Kumar Singh, who had challenged the process of selection of teachers in government-run primary and junior high schools in Uttar Pradesh.

The state of government schools

UP's former director general of police, Brij Lal, told Catch: "The court order is most welcome. It'll throw light on the condition of government schools in the state."

Lal hails from Basti, a backward district of eastern Uttar Pradesh. His parents were unlettered and in his initial years, he studied in a government school that basically held classes under the shade of a 'Mahua' tree.

"But I became the police chief of Uttar Pradesh," he said."Do do you expect a student who attends a government school today can become a high-ranking police officer in the future? Of course, it is a valid point that parents should be free to choose schools for their children, but the court has tried to send a message about the condition of government schools."

Lal said it was strange that the condition of schools in Uttar Pradesh was so poor, despite so many of the state's chief ministers being teachers in their early days.

"Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Rajnath Singh - they were all teachers," he said.

Public school viewpoint

Despite being the owner and principal of a public school, Ritu Saxena has welcomed the court order.

She told Catch: "If the condition of the government schools improves because of this court order, the students will be able to compete with private school students. It is a matter of ensuring the right to equality."

The condition of government schools is no secret. Can you expect girls to spend six-seven hours in schools where there are no toilets?

"Moreover, the poor, who can't afford a good education, will benefit if the court's order is implemented. Though I own a school, I don't think we'll suffer in any way if government schools improve."

More nods of assent

Dilip Rao, an executive with a consultancy company in the US, said: "In the US, government schools are free, while private schools are very costly. But the quality of education provided and the infrastructure in both is the same."

The same thing must happen in India, he said.

An Air Force Wing Commander, on the condition of anonymity, said: "The court's order is most welcome. I went to a missionary school. Why? Because the quality of education is too poor in government schools and private schools are too costly. If government schools come at par with private schools, I will have more choices for my children."

Do do you expect a student who attends a govt school today can become a high-ranking officer in the future?

Ramesh Chandra Chitranshi, a professor of English at the PPM College in Kanpur, said: "What the court wants now should have been done by the state government a long time ago. In fact, earlier, there was not much difference between a government school and a private school. Why have the government schools deteriorated in the first place?"

A former eduction officer, unwilling to be named, answers the professor's question."The primary education department is a big den of corruption. There is corruption in the appointment of teachers; it smacks of nepotism. In villages, the elected chiefs have a major role in running the schools. Village chiefs and other influential people get their kin appointed as teachers," he said.

"The mid-day meal scheme is another huge racket. Only 30 students are fed, and on paper, 100 students are shown. The condition of government schools should improve before it is too late."

The contrary view

But RN Chaturvedi, a former Indian Administrative Serivce officer, said the court's order was totally impractical.

"Everyone agrees that the government should see to it that the schools function properly. But the court cannot give executive orders to a government. I see the court's order against the system of natural justice," he said.

The education official, too, agrees. "The court's order is most welcome, but it can be challenged in the Supreme Court."

First published: 20 August 2015, 1:53 IST