Allahabad, UP : The Allahabad high court on Tuesday took cognizance of the pitiable condition of primary schools in the state and directed the chief secretary to ensure that children and wards of government officials and bureaucrat – those serving in the local bodies, representatives of people and judiciary must necessarily send their wards to these government run schools.The court emphatically stated that the best way to maintain the upkeep of these government schools would be undertaken only when the wards are admitted to these educational institutions. This would ensure good upkeep of the schools.
Setting an immediate deadline after having heard out writ petitions filed by Umesh Kumar Singh and several others, Justice Sudhir Agarwal directed the chief secretary to take steps within six months so as to make the aforesaid directions effective from the next academic session of primary schools. Furthermore, the court has set up a feedback mechanism from the chief secretary by asking him to submit a compliance report immediately after the lapse of six months. This is with respect to the condition of schools as well as regarding appointment of assistant teachers in state’s primary schools.
This debate knocked the doors of Newsroom24x7 and heated up when Editor-in-Chief of Newsroom24x7, Lalit Shastri put up his views in Facebook in these exact words – “The Allahabad High Court order should be challenged in Supreme Court. It violates the Fundamental Right of the citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. Every citizen has the right to decide where his/her child is going to study.”
Opinions flowed in formally and informally with a varied perspective on the matter. Jayanth Munigala, a retired Indian Administrative Service officer of the Bihar/Jharkhand cadre opined – “I strongly support the Order of Allahabad High Court.. Every right come(s) with a Responsibility and will be subjected to State control. You cannot just say I have right in isolation. If you want reforms in Education system in India and if you want better Education in future such measures are required. There is a requirement of Common Curriculum in the country. But the respective States should have their mother tongue as one subject.”
A Lady Bureaucrat informally stated, “We cannot be asking our children to ride in Ambassadors. They want the best of SUVs and Sedan, and we will provide it to them within whatever budget we can. We can’t substitute a VW or Hyundai with an Ambassador. Even Top Ministers keep a BMW or an Audi or a Merc. Same is the case with schools. Why should we be punished to put our children in such poor quality education benches just because we are government servants?”
Another top ranking government official presently posted in UP cadre, spoke with Newsroom24x7 correspondent and stated, “First improve the condition of these schools. Then tell us, we will. This is becoming the Egg and Chicken story. HC wants us to put the wards into schools, so that the Schools become progressive. We demand that first the schools be updated, then comes our children’s turn.”
A serving bureaucrat on condition of anonymity stated, “How can the high court tell us that our son should study in that government school ? This is breaching the right of individual and is our own discretionary decision. The courts have no business to direct us into such forceful actions, that too with a ridiculous deadline of next session.”
The best solution in this case would probably be to knock the doors of Supreme Court and seek an intervention by appointing a committee to look up into the upkeep quality of education offered by these schools before instructing the compulsory admit schedule.
The debate is still on.