The Allahabad High Court on 18 August 2015 directed the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that all government officials, elected representatives, members of judiciary and all other persons who get any benefit or salary from state exchequer or public fund send their children to primary schools run by the state Board for Secondary Education.
Passing the judgement, Justice Sudhir Agarwal also ruled that penal provisions be laid down for those who violated the order.
The Court in its direction asked 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. It also asked him to submit a compliance report immediately after the lapse of six months.
The decision came after the court took a serious note of the condition of the primary schools of the state while hearing a writ petitions filed by Umesh Kumar Singh and several others challenging the process of selection of Associate Teachers for government-run primary and junior high schools for the years 2013 and 2015.
While hearing the PIL, the court said that until wards of Judges, people’s representatives and bureaucrats do not study compulsorily in these schools, the condition will not improve.
The court also pulled up the state's Basic Education department for negligent and casual amendments in rules pertaining to appointment of teachers, besides Government Orders issued time-to-time which, it said, paved way for multifarious litigations resulting in not only delay in appointment of primary teachers, but also a very heavy pressure on the court.
Comment and Analysis
The decision of Allahabad High Court would help in improving the deteriorating status of the quality of education of primary and secondary education in Government schools of the state, and its success may give the boost of the same at India level.
As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2012) released by PRATHAM, the quality of school education in the country is in poor condition and it is falling to dangerous levels and indirectly allowing the invasion of the private sector.
To support its cause, it presented some critical facts like
• In 2008, only about 50 percent of Standard 3 students could read a Standard 1 text, but by 2012, it declined to 30 percent - a fall of 16 percent.
• In 2012, about 50 percent of the Std 3 kids were not able to correctly recognise digits up to 100, the age in which they are supposed to learn two digit subtractions. In 2008, about 70 percent of the kids could do this.
• Similar deterioration in standards of education was also noted among Std 5 students.
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When: 18 August 2015
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