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By the Way

Schooled by court order


UP civil servants are perturbed with the Supreme Court notice of contempt to UP Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey for failing to implement a four-year-old Allahabad High Court order that directed top bureaucrats and other government officials to enrol their children in state-run schools. In 2015, the Allahabad High Court directed the Chief Secretary to work out the modalities within six months to ensure that all government servants send their children to primary schools run by the state basic education board.

The list includes members of the judiciary, government officials, semi-government employees, employees of local bodies and representatives of people. The court said there should be penal provisions to ensure that such persons are “compelled necessarily” to send their children to these primary schools. As an illustrative example, the court said such persons would be forced to contribute an amount equal to the fee paid in private schools. This money could be used to improve the basic infrastructure of primary schools. It said this would ensure that the officials concerned become aware of the problems at the basic education level. Otherwise, the court said, they would not care as they have access to private education. “It is not difficult to understand why the conditions of these schools have not improved… There is no real involvement of administration with these schools. Any person who has some capacity and adequate finances sends his child/ children to elite and semi-elite primary schools, whether it is the district collector or the police chief or any other government servant,” it said. The order was dumped in the files as nobody cared to implement it. Following the Supreme Court notice, there is hullabaloo in Lucknow. If the said order is implemented and civil servants don’t send their children to government schools then there is a mandatory monetary loss. Who will bell the cat!

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