October 11, 2017
COVAI POST NETWORK
Madurai: The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai has directed the Tamil Nadu government to establish Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in all the districts in the State.
A division bench of justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan ordered the State to identify appropriate place and building for establishing Navodaya Vidyalayas. “The State should allocate suitable land in every district and the Central Government shall establish Navodaya Vidyalayas immediately thereafter,” they said.
Since the admission process would commence during the first week of January 2018, the HC instructed the TN government to provide a temporary site and building to accommodate 240 children in each of the districts within a period of 2 months.
In the 26-page order passed on a petition filed by Kumari Maha Sabha represented by its secretary Jeyakumar Thomas, justice Sasidharan observed, “The TN government without making any attempt to ascertain as to whether Tamil is a compulsory subject up to VIII Standard in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas took a policy decision not to permit its opening in the State. Even after the Centre made its position very clear that Tamil would be taught up to VIII Standard as a compulsory subject and thereafter, it would be offered as an additional/optional subject, the State is still reluctant to lift the ban on the ground that it is a highly sensitive issue.”
The right of the students to choose the pattern of education, the court said, is curtailed by the State by imposing a blanket ban on opening Navodaya schools. Since its policy to ban their opening would violate the right of the children to join the educational institution of their choice and the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and the Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2001, the court said, it was constrained to examine the validity of the policy.
“The State blindly opposed the establishment of Navodaya Vidyalayas without ascertaining the syllabus, curricula or medium of instruction followed by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti. Even after the information furnished by the Samiti and the Ministry of Human Resources Development, the State Government took no action to submit its views,”the court said.
The medium of instruction and languages prescribed by the Samiti would not in any manner violate the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act, 2006, wherein Tamil is a compulsory subject, the judges said.
Stating that the requirement for establishing these schools is only 30 acres, the court said the ultimate beneficiaries would be the rural students as land would be available only in rural areas. “There is no rationality in the decision taken by the State to oppose Navodaya schools which would be in a position to impart education to the students, so as to enable them to compete in NEET and join professional courses,”they said, adding that 11,875 out of 14.183 students who took NEET qualified for admission to MBBS and of them, 7000 got admission during the first counselling itself.