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Kerala schools contest minister’s data on students shunning caste, religion

Education minister C Raveendranath said in the Assembly on Wednesday that 1,23,630 students between classes 1 and 10 stated they had no religion or caste while taking admissions in schools this year.

kerala Updated: Mar 29, 2018 18:34 IST
Kerala,C Raveendranath,caste
Kerala education minister C Raveendranath.(Twitter)

Several schools have questioned Kerala education minister C Raveendranath’s claim in the legislative assembly on Wednesday that more than 1.2 lakh students in the state refused religion/caste preferences while seeking admission in schools.

The minister had said in the Assembly that 1,23,630 students between classes 1 and 10 stated they had no religion or caste, and termed it a record high. Lauding the ‘secular tradition’ of the state, he also said that every year the numbers were on the rise.

Interestingly, some of the schools mentioned in the list are controlled by religious institutions.

Going by the minister’s list, at least 3,000 students from six schools in north Kerala’s Kasargode district opted out of caste and religion. But some schools such as Moppila Upper Primary (UP) School in Uppala and St Paul’s School in Thrikkaripur said there was not a single student who fell in the category from their schools. Similar complaints surfaced from Malappuram, Kozhikkode and Ernakulam districts.

“In Karippol UP School (Malappuram district), out of 1,050 students, more than 200 were put in this category. It is absolutely wrong. We have no idea how it happened,” said the school’s Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) president Yahya Palliserry.

A spokesman of the state education department admitted there were serious mistakes in the data and an inquiry would be conducted as to how it happened. The minister was not available for comments.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 18:34 IST