A submission was made on behalf of the State government before the Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday that it was not in favour of the establishment of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) in all districts in the State since those schools would lead to imposition of Sanskrit on Tamil students.
Special Government Pleader M. Govindan made the submission before a Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan, who were seized of a public interest litigation petition filed by Kumari Maha Sabha, a private organisation represented by its secretary Jeyakumar Thomas, for establishing such schools in all districts.
Asserting that the State government was not in favour of JNVs in Tamil Nadu, he said there was no necessity on the part of the State government to allot 30 acres of land free of cost to the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti for establishing each of these schools when there were sufficient number of government and private schools in the State to impart education.
When the judges pointed out that the JNVs might help in providing quality education to children from the economically weaker sections of society, Mr. Govindan said that all private schools in the State were already providing free seats at entry level to poor students under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009. Later, he sought time to file a detailed counter affidavit on behalf of the State government opposing the petitioner’s plea for establishment of JNVs. Accepting his request, the judges adjourned further hearing on the case to June 20.
In its affidavit, the petitioner association said: “The Navodaya Vidyalaya system is a unique experiment and is unparalleled in the annals of school education in the country. Its significance lies in providing the best residential school system irrespective of a child’s economic condition. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas exist all over the country but for Tamil Nadu, where anti-Hindi movements were widespread during the past.”
Further, pointing out that the JNVs follow the three language formula of teaching the regional language, English as well as Hindi, he said that the Centre may not have any issues in establishing such schools if the State government was willing to offer necessary infrastructure including suitable land free of cost in every district.