Hindu parents stop sending kids to school citing religious preaching, demand new govt school in village

In a petition undersigned by more than 400 people, they alleged that the administration of the aided primary school is also attempting to construct a church over a poramboke plot of land.

Tenkasi:  Hindu parents from Achankuttam village, who stopped sending over 100 wards to a local government-aided primary school back in March alleging that the administration was preaching Christianity, staged a protest in Veerakeralampudur on Monday and sent a petition to Chief Minister M K Stalin demanding a government school in their village. Officials from the school education department have decided to hold talks with the parents on Wednesday and persuade them to send the children to any of the schools in the region.

In a petition undersigned by more than 400 people, they alleged that the administration of the aided primary school is also attempting to construct a church over a poramboke plot of land. “Opposing the construction, we held a road blockade in March and the police arrested us. Since then, we stopped sending our children to that particular school. We have also petitioned the district collector and other officials seeking steps to establish a government school in our village. Our children have to travel to a government school located six km away from our village for writing annual exams,” they said.

Residents also noted that they provided a land parcel to the government for constructing a school, and also a building to conduct temporary classes until the construction is over. “The school education department should provide our children with government teachers, school books, lunch, and uniforms for the 2023-24 academic year. Since the strength of the aided school has declined, the government could assign the teachers there, to teach our children,” the parents added.

When contacted by TNIE, Chief Educational Officer of Tenkasi district Muthaiah said while the parents of 56 Hindu students had admitted the children to other schools, parents of about 70 other Hindu children are refusing to send their wards to any school. “Religious issues can be resolved through talks. But, parents should not stop sending their children to school under any circumstances. We will hold a talk with them on Wednesday. The Revenue Divisional Officer, school education officials, tahsildar, and police officials will also attend the meeting. We have also brought the demand for a new school to the attention of the state government,” he said.

Another official said the aided school now has just a total of 20 students. “Three teachers appointed by the government and a few others posted by the school management are working there. This same religious issue was raised in Kuthapanchan village near Alangulam. However, the Hindu parents there agreed to send their children to another school nearby after the school education department arranged a government bus to pick up and drop the students,” he added.

Source: The New Indian Express

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