Issues

Bench stays Government Order on formation of school management committees

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Petitioner school claims it interferes with right of minorities

The Madras High Court Bench here has stayed the operation of a Government Order issued by the School Education Department on December 26 insisting that all aided schools in Tamil Nadu constitute school management committees (SMC) for planning, monitoring and implementing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Justice V. Dhanapalan granted the interim stay on a writ petition filed by Rehamania Higher Secondary School, represented by its manager and correspondent S.S. Hassan Aboobacker, at Melapalayam in Tirunelveli district.

The school claimed that the exclusion of school managements from the SMC amounted to interfering with the right of minorities to administer educational institutions.

Violation alleged

Petitioner's counsel M. Ajmal Khan contended that the G.O. was in violation of Article 30 (1) of the Constitution that recognises the rights of minorities in matters of imparting education. The functions of these committees, as per the G.O., included ensuring the attendance and punctuality of teachers besides enrolment and continued attendance of all children from the neighbourhood.

They were also vested with the power to list out specifications for equitable quality of education besides bringing to the notice of local educational authority, any deviations of the rules and regulations.

“The SMCs will also perform administrative and managerial functions in a school. Thus it provides for interference into administration autonomy of a minority educational institution.”

In his affidavit, the petitioner school's correspondent stated that the institution was established in 1922 by his grandfather S.A. Hassan Aboobacker in the name of Rehamania Mohammedean Primary School.

The objective was to impart quality education to Muslim as well as non-Muslim students of the locality, which is a backward area. Since then, the school was being administered by his descendants.

A suit was filed in 1977 in the Madras City Civil Court leading to a decree passed in 1980 declaring the school to be a minority institution exempted from enforcing various provisions of the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulations) Act 1973. The State did not prefer any appeal against the decree and hence it had become final and binding upon it.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:24:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/bench-stays-government-order-on-formation-of-school-management-committees/article2988872.ece

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