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Delhi government teachers’ body slam ‘politicisation’ of schools

On Monday, during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of 11,000 new classrooms, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asked parents to think if they loved their children more or PM Narendra Modi, before voting.

delhi Updated: Jan 31, 2019 13:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi govt teachers association,GSTA,Delhi CM Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of new classrooms in New Delhi, Monday, January 28, 2019.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The Delhi Government School Teacher’s Association (GSTA) on Wednesday asked Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to take action against elected representatives (MLAs) who were using public schools for allegedly spreading political propaganda.

In a letter to the L-G’s office, the teachers’ association condemned the speech of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who is also the education minister, saying they “clearly asked school students to not vote for a certain politician in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and instead vote for their own party candidates”.

“It must be ensured that no such incident takes place in the future, where politicians can take advantage of our educational institutions,” the association stated. A copy of the letter was also marked to Delhi Chief Election Officer and Union minister of human resources development Prakash Javadekar.

The government and the L-G’s office did not respond to the calls and texts for a comment.

On Monday, during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of 11,000 new classrooms, Kejriwal asked parents to think if they loved their children more or PM Narendra Modi, before voting.

Addressing the children later, Sisodia said, “Go home and ask your parents if they love you or not. If they say they love you, ask them to vote for the party which is building schools.” The event was telecast across 1,100 government schools in the capital.

Saying that some high school students in the audience were above 18, Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary of the GSTA said that the government was making direct voting appeals to first-time voters. “Students and parents within all government schools were made to watch the video of this event-cum-political stunt while they should have been studying for their upcoming board examinations,” the association said in its letter.

Yadav also said that they had received negative feedback from parents and students for such screening inside schools. “Since board examinations are approaching, remedial and extra classes were going on. But the children were asked to sit and watch this. Parents complained to us that if they were repeatedly called to attend such events leaving work, who would feed their families,” he said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 13:45 IST