The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) was urged to oppose the closure of the Maharani New Type Model (NTM) School and its transfer to Sri Ramakrishna Ashram for construction of a national memorial for Swami Vivekananda.

JJB member P.P. Baburaj, and member of the District Child Protection Unit R. Somalatha, studied the issue following a directive by the board and submitted an interim report on Saturday.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Hindu , said that the merger of the NTM School with the nearby Devaraja School would severely inconvenience the children as the Devaraja School did not have the adequate infrastructure.

The report said the school’s closure would “violate the rights of children studying at NTM School.”

The state of uncertainty about the future of their education plaguing the children and their parents amounts to inflicting cruelty on them, said the report. It suggested instead that the school be strengthened. It would greatly benefit students if the government order to merge the two schools, was rescinded, the report said.

The NTM school has a history of 132 years, and the government should strengthen it and issue suitable directions in this regard to the Education Department.

The merger of NTM School with Devaraja School and transfer of the former to Sri Ramakrishna Ashram has left the intellectual class divided on the issue. A section of Kannada litterateurs welcomed the move, on the grounds that merger does not amount to closure.

The school abuts the Niranjan Math where Swami Vivekananda stayed during his visit to Mysore in the 1880s and hence a memorial was planned at the site. However, another section has opposed it on the grounds that no schools should be closed by the government and a memorial could be constructed at an alternative site.

The final report is to be submitted on September 27.

The ashram authorities plan to have a state-of-the-art library, multimedia centre, auditorium and an interactive museum for the benefit of student community. A cultural centre at the site would help infuse ethical and moral values among the youth.

  • One member each from JJB, Child Protection Unit studied issue

  • Final report expected on September 27