Thiruvananthapuram: Save us from hartals, say students

United School Forum of Students from various schools to meet the Governor and press demand.

Thiruvananthapuram: A group of students from various schools across Thiruvananthapuram district has formed an organisation called ‘United School Forum’ raising the demand to exempt the schools from the frequent hartals. The forum will approach Governor P. Sathasivam to press its demand.

The students behind the move include Afna of St Mary's School, Pattom, Bhavya of St Francis Secondary School, Vizh-injam,Ankith Praveen of Christ Nagar School, Kowdiar, Devika of Jyotis Central School, Kazhak-uttom, and Apoorva of Chinamaya Vidyalaya. They told the media here on Wednesday that of the 220 academic working days needed in a year, the schools could complete only 145 days. Even if the remaining days are calculated, it would come to around 185 days. There will be no change in syllabus and schools will have to complete the remaining syllabus designed for 220 days in a short period.

“How could the portions be taught without having classes? How could we write exams without learning the portions,” they asked.

In 2018, the state witnessed 97 hartals. The new year is no different with a hartal and a two-day general strike being already conducted.

The Kerala education rules have recommended that every academic year should have 220 educational days, excluding the days of examinations. The Central Board of Secondary Education rules also stipulated 220 working days. This could not be adhered to due to the situation in the state during the past many years. In 2016, the Kerala High Court had directed the state government to ensure 220 academic days, excluding examinations and co-curricular activities, as prescribed under the relevant acts.

The Right to Education Act, 2009 stated that schools must provide 200 working days for class I to V and 220 for class VI to VIII.

Earlier, Kerala CBSE School Management Association had also asked the government and political parties to “exempt the entire education system, especially schools, from the consequences of hartals, bandhs and strikes.” They asked the political parties to keep in mind the well-being of the future generation and society.

Association president T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan told Deccan Chronicle that it had made this request before all political parties. They have been asked to come up for a meeting to discuss the various aspects of the demands, said Mr Khan.

The association said in the petition submitted to various authorities that schools in the state have been unable to fulfil the mandatory 220 teaching days during the past many years. “In the current academic year also, we expect to get only 172 teaching days,” they said. Although floods and adverse weather also played a part, the culture of hartal is the villain. In the previous academic year, the number of teaching days was only 184, they pointed out.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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