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Kerala High Court admits PIL to strip politics off aided teachers


KOCHI: The right of aided schoolteachers to engage in political activities should be taken away as it results in teachers ignoring their primary duty of teaching children, says a public interest litigation admitted by the Kerala High Court.

The petition filed by advocate Jibu P Thomas alleges that political activities of aided schoolteachers affect the education of children. It results in children studying in government or private schools gaining an undue edge over children in aided schools. The petitioner alleges that this is a violation of the Right to Equality enshrined in the Constitution.

Kerala Education Rules and Kerala Government Servants Conduct Rules stipulate that no teacher shall engage in political activity or in any kind of activity that affects the normal functioning of the school. Despite all these rules being in place, successive governments have allowed aided schoolteachers to engage in politics.

A government order was issued in 1967 making the political rights of aided schoolteachers similar to those i government schools. Unfortunately, the changes recommended in the order were never incorporated into Kerala Education Rules, which resulted in aided schoolteachers continuing with their political activities.

The petitioner has also pointed out that a government-appointed committee recommended “outright cancellation of existing orders conferring political rights to teaching and non-teaching staff in government aided educational institutions in Kerala” through its report on August 6, 2008.

Teachers engaging in political activities is also a violation of section 24 of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The section stipulates that teachers should maintain regularity and punctuality in attending school and that no teacher should be deployed for any non-education purpose.

Admitting the petition, a division bench headed by Justice CN Ramachandran Nair has asked the government to file an affidavit explaining their stance on the issue.

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Posted by on Feb 28 2012. Filed under Kerala News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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