N.J. Nair

Resolution not to teach controversial lesson in schools

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Local Administration Department will serve notice on the Kalpakancherry grama panchayat in Malappuram district for adopting a resolution that the controversial social science lesson for Class VII need not be taught in the schools under its purview.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that the panchayat in Tanur block governed by the Indian Union Muslim League over-stepped its powers and, as a preliminary step, notice would be issued for withdrawing the resolution.

According to the 73rd amendment to the Constitution, administration of schools up to the upper primary level had been delegated to grama panchayats. But powers of the panchayats had been limited to maintenance of infrastructure and complementing the educational quality improvement initiatives by organising training programmes or helping teachers to conduct additional classes for weak students in consultation with the parent teacher association.

“The resolution is seen as an attempt of the panchayat to intervene in the academic affairs. If the panchayat refuses to withdraw the resolution, the department will have to dissolve the committee, appoint an administrator and conduct elections within six months,” sources said.

When the Karakulam grama panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram published a book, Panchayati Raj Kuttikalku (panchayati raj for children) last year, it had drawn flak and was described as a move of the panchayat to interfere in the academic affairs of the schools. The book was published by the Grameena Patana Kendram of the panchayat.

The book was proposed to be distributed among the students for extra-curricular studies to acclimatise them with the changes in local governance. The proposal was dropped in the wake of the protest.

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