Delay in mapping holds up Marathi school plans
The month-long protests against the government’s decision to put 6,028 proposals to start privately-run Marathi schools will end on February 27, celebrated as Marathi Bhasha Divas.
The Shikshan Hakka Samanvaya Samiti, a network of schools organising the protest along with other groups, will march from Mahatma Phule’s house in Pune to Mantralaya.
“Every month, the government accepts proposals from English medium schools but it has not been accepting any for unaided Marathi schools for the past three years,” said Panjabrao Varje, chairperson of a school in Aurangabad, and one of the parties that had filed a case in the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court in 2008 when the government stopped accepting proposals.
“There needs to be good Marathi-medium schools or else people will migrate to English-medium schools.”
The government has put all proposals to start new privately-run primary and secondary schools on hold as it is mapping Marathi-medium schools for the state master plan that will identify areas that need new schools. The master plan has been in the making since 2008.
“If someone starts a school where there is already a school, then there will be unnatural competition in the area, numbers will be affected. Once the mapping is done, we will begin to advertise. I am sympathetic to their cause but one has to wait,” said Rajendra Darda, school education minister.
Darda, who took charge of the education portfolio last November, is the state’s first full-time school education minister in the past three years. School management officials met Darda last week to discuss the matter and have also sent a letter to the chief minister outlining their demands.
“There is a procedure for getting permission to operate schools, which the schools have followed,” said Ramesh Pense, an educationist. “But the government has refuses to permit these schools to operate.”
‘Good schools are a must’
There is a great need and a demand for unaided Marathi schools in the state say private school administrators, despite the enforcement of the Right to Education Act that mandates for state governments to provide free and compulsory primary education.
Since the government has not given permission for the opening of any new Marathi medium unaided schools since 2008, a group of non-profits and schools will be launching their agitation at the end of the month.
“Everyone has different choices, different needs, different income levels and correspondingly there should be different kinds of schools for people to choose from,” said Panjabrao Varje, chairperson of a school in Aurangabad.
"We need to have good Marathi schools or else everyone will leave and go to English medium schools.”
School authorities point out that schools run by local authorities are not up to the mark.
“In many areas, either there are no zilla parishad schools or they are far or not functioning properly,” said Deepak Powar, president of the Marathi Abhyas Kendra. Private schools are necessary for many reasons, say experts.
“We are a mixed economy so both private and public should be allowed to function together,” said Ramesh Panse, an educationist.
Students of a prominent college in Bihar's Munger city were allegedly allowed to write exams using their mobile phone torchlight. The incident was reported from RD & DJ College, Munger on Wednesday when the power had tripped due to inclement weather and the college generator was not functioning either. Another examinee without disclosing his identity said, “The college and university here are playing a cruel joke with students.”
Bengaluru has been ranked 14 of 20 cities in the Asia Pacific region for sustainable development of commercial real estate by global consultants Knight Frank, news agency PTI said. The top five cities are Singapore, Sydney, Wellington, Perth, and Melbourne. Apart from Bengaluru, three other Indian cities - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - also made it to the list but were ranked in three of the bottom four places - 17, 18 and 20, respectively.
The India Meteorological Department on Thursday announced the onset of the southwest monsoon over Delhi following light spells of rainfall since early hours of the day. “The southwest monsoon has further advanced into entire Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir; some parts of Rajasthan, entire Delhi and some parts of Punjab and Haryana today, June 30, 2022,” the IMD said in a statement.
Daily Covid cases in Bengaluru city crossed the 1,000-mark Wednesday, with 1,019 cases reported in 24 hours against the 887 on Tuesday. Daily cases in Karnataka were 1,249, which includes 696 backlog cases, according to data from the health department. Two Covid-related deaths were also reported - one from Bengaluru and the other from Chikkamangaluru. There are now 5,707 active cases in Karnataka, of which Bengaluru has a staggering 5,393.
The Haridwar police on Friday arrested five persons in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 35-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter in a moving car in Roorkee. Circle officer (Roorkee) Vivek Kumar said they have arrested five people, including the main perpetrator of the crime. The opposition Congress also questioned the police and administration for their failure to nab them.