Allahabad High Court has passed an order directing that all the government servants, elected representatives, members of judiciary and every other person who receives any salary, benefit or perks from the state exchequer or public fund has to send their children to primary schools run by the Uttar Pradesh state education board.
A single bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal has directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government to ensure the compliance of above direction and also to make penal provisions for those who violate this condition – like depositing the amount equivalent of the fees paid in private schools, in the public funds. It has asked to take effective steps within six months so as to make the directions effective from the next academic session of primary schools.
Court has observed that this would give a boost and bring revolution in changing Society from grass root level and that the initial level mixing among all children will have a different consequences.
We break down the judgment here for you:
High Court was hearing a batch of petitions categorised in five different groups, related to the recruitment of junior teachers in the government schools in Uttar Pradesh. While Court allowed some of the writ petitions and dismissed few others, it was appalled by the state of public schools in the State.
Three kinds of schools
Court took a “judicial cognizance” and concluded that there are three categories of primary schools running in the State imparting education to minor children of the State.
||Schools run by elite and highly privileged people
||Branded as public schoolsNo space for poor and lower-middle class children. Meant for highly rich people, high class Bureaucrats, Ministers, MPs, MLAs and high-middle class people
||English/Convent Schools run by Christian minority
||Primary Schools normally run by private bodies or individuals
||Primary Schools run and managed by Board under its administration
||“Common-men’s Schools” – cater to the 90% of the concerned population – includes entire category of rural class, urban rural class and those who cannot afford expenses of other two categories.
Government Schools in pathetic condition
After more than 65 years of independence, these Schools are still struggling to have basic amenities for children, coming thereat, like drinking water, space for natural calls etc. Even classrooms are in extremely shabby and bad conditions. At many places, classes are being run in open space. The structure, if any, is in dilapidated condition.
Reason for pathetic condition of Government schools:
Justice Agarwal observed that it was not difficult to understand, why conditions of these Schools has not improved as the reason is quite obvious and simple, though the State Government is not able to see.
- There is no real involvement of administration with these Schools.
- Any person who has some capacity and adequate finances, sends his child/children in Elite and Semi-Elite Primary School. They do not even think of sending their wards for primary education to Schools run and managed by Board.
- Whether it is the District Collector or Police Chief in the District or any other Government Servant, they ensure that their children should get primary education in Primary Schools having better infrastructure and other facilities which obviously belong to first and second categories of Primary Schools and completely exclude third category Schools, i.e. Common-men’s Schools.
- The public administration therefore has no actual indulgence to see functioning and requirements of these schools. These schools have become a mode of earning political mileage instead of real catering to its need.
- These institutions, run by Board of Basic Education, are victim of highest level of misappropriation, maladministration and widespread corruption. Standard of teaching is the biggest casualty.
Vacancies are maintained for political reasons
Justice Agarwal observed that a competition is going on for political reasons to make lakhs of vacancies available in Primary Schools as a source to create committed voters by appointing persons, if not illiterate, but not really competent to teach children of Primary School. He said that a competition is going on to somehow get such persons appointed as teachers in these schools whom they would not like at all to teach their own children.
In my view, now the time has come where immediate attention need be drawn for improvement, not only of infrastructure in these institutions but first of all in respect of teaching staff. The time has come where State must make it compulsory to all those who gets salary, perks and other benefits from State exchequer to have their wards sent to Primary Schools maintained by Board which I have termed Common-men’s Schools and not to Schools which, come in the category 1 and 2, i.e., Elite and SemiElite and are privately managed.
Send kids to Government Schools. Just do it.
Justice Agarwal then made the following order:
Therefore, the Chief Secretary, U.P. Government is directed to take appropriate action in the matter in consultation with other Officials, responsible in this regard, to ensure that the children/wards of Government servants, semi-Government servants, local bodies, representatives of people, judiciary and all such persons who receive any perk, benefit or salary etc. from State exchequer or public fund, send their child/children/wards who are in age of receiving primary education, to Primary Schools run by Board.
Pay penalty if your kid goes to elite schools
To ensure that the aforesaid directive is followed, Justice Agarwal ordered:
[Chief Secretary] shall also ensure to make penal provisions for those who violate this condition; for example, if a child is sent to a Primary School not maintained by Board, the amount of fee etc. paid in such privately managed Primary School, an equal amount shall be deposited in the Government funds, every month, so long as such education in other kind of Primary School is continued.
Use penalty money for improving Government Schools
This amount collected can be utilised for betterment of schools of Board. Besides, such person, if in service, should also be made to suffer other benefits like increment, promotional avenues for certain period, as the case may be. This is only illustrative. The appropriate provisions can be made by Government so as to ensure that ward(s)/child/children of persons, as detailed above, are compelled necessarily to receive primary education in the Primary Schools run by Board.
It will give an opportunity to children of common men to interact and mix-up with children of so-called high or semi high society, giving them a different kind of atmosphere, confidence and other opportunities. This would give a boost and bring revolution in changing Society from grass root level. The initial level mixing among all children will have a different consequences.
Considering the nature and range of impact of this judgment, let us wait and watch as to the future course of this judgment.
Read the entire judgment here: