Several government schools in Deoria and Maharajganj districts of East UP have been named as ‘Islamia’ schools and their functioning has acquired overt Islamic tones, as per an investigative report by Hindi daily Jagran. This change happened several years back and was even protested at local level, but has now finally reached higher levels of UP Government.
These Government schools observe a weekly holiday on Jumma, i.e, Friday, and they are open on Sunday. However, it is not known on whose orders these government schools have been converted to ‘Islamia’ schools.
Complaints were lodged by the local people many times in past but no action was taken till date. As the matter finally reached the government, officers have now become alert to it. Now the old records are being investigated in this case. It is yet to be ascertained since when ‘Islamia’ was added as a prefix to ‘Primary School’. Now, on the instructions of the DM, the schools will open on Friday and remain closed on Sundays.
One such case is from Jadyu Pipra located in the Partaval Vikas block of Maharajganj district. The Government school located in the village is known as Islamia Primary School, Jadyu Pipra. The school operates similar to other council schools in some aspects, but the holiday remains on Fridays and school operates on Sundays. In this regard also, complaints were made by the locals many times but remained unheard at all levels.
At present, 55 children study in this school. As told by the villagers, the school has been operating since 1931, i.e., before independence. Later, when it became a council school, it was named Islamia Elementary School, Jadyu Pipra. Decades ago, with the consent of the then Gram Pradhan and Principal, it was decided to close school on Fridays and study on Sundays. The school’s current Principal, Tirthraj Prasad, said that many times department officials were requested to issue orders for leave on Sundays instead of Fridays, but there was no direction from anywhere so far.
Action will be taken on receipt of inquiry report
District Basic Education Officer Jagdish Prasad Shukla said that the matter is in his cognizance. If this school is being run by the Basic Education Council, then the holiday should be observed on Sundays. In this regard, the inquiry has been assigned to the Block Education Officer of Partaval. Further action will be taken when the inquiry report is received. At the same time, DM Amarnath Upadhyay said that traditions and stereotypes will not obstruct school operations. The whole episode will be examined. The operation of the school will be ensured as per the rules.
Many Council schools became Islamia School in Deoria
In the the district of Deoria, 6 primary schools – one each in Nawalpur & Jaitpura, 3 in Rampur Karkhana block (Karmaha, Ishwari Pokharbhinda, Shami Patti villages) and one in Deshi Deoria block, were found to have been named ‘Islamia’ Primary School. These schools also run as per Islamic method & vacation is on Fridays in place of Sundays. The authorities of these schools have also been asked to prepare the clarification for the same.
Villagers say that this tradition has been going on since the time of independence. Most of the principals of these schools are Muslims. Earlier, all the work and study in this school were in Urdu and Arabic. Later, studies were started in Hindi too. Most of the children studying here are Muslims as the villages are Muslim-dominated.
The attendance register in one such school has names of over 150 students. In this school, Principal Santosh Yadav, Assistant Teacher Latif Ahmed, Noor Jannat, Shiksha Mitra Farhat Sultana and Reena are deployed. Principal Santosh Yadav said ‘The information about opening school on Sunday and holiday on Friday was given to the authorities earlier, but no instructions were received. Before my joining, this school was completely run as per the Islamia system. Earlier, right from medium of education to all other work, everything was done in Urdu. Later, due to inability to understand Urdu, both Hindi and Urdu were used.”
Block Education Officer of Bhaluani, Prabhat Kumar Shrivastava told that he has also received information about Islamia school in Jaitpura. Clarification will be sought from the Principal and if the school is not running as per the rules, then action will be taken against them.
Records being researched on naming the schools as Islamia school
Old records are being investigated in such cases. It is yet to be ascertained when Islamia was inscribed in the names of Primary Schools. Now on the instructions of DM, schools will open on Fridays and close on Sundays. Basic Shiksha Adhikari has instructed all schools to operate according to departmental guidelines. Strict instructions have been issued to all block education officers.
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