Caning issue: HRD panel to visit La Martinere
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Last Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 21:31
Kolkata: A two-member committee appointed by the HRD ministry will visit La Martinere School for Boys next week on a fact-finding mission following the controversy over the caning of a student by the principal, an act which is being blamed for the 13-year-old's suicide.

"(HRD Minister) Kapil Sibal has asked me to submit a report about the matter. I will visit La Martinere next week. Another person will accompany me on my visit," Ramesh Bhattacharjee, who is heading the panel, told reporters.

Bhattacharjee, a member of the ministry's Department of Secondary and Higher Education, said the commission will talk to the school authorities and also Rouvanjit Rawla's parents and try to find out what led the class VIII student to end his life.

"We will also try to find out whether the school authorities are complying with the various norms set by the HRD ministry for governance of minority-run institutions," he said.

Bhattacharjee, under whose jurisdiction schools in the eastern and northeastern states falls, said that taking advantage of the West Bengal's government decision to do away with English at the primary level in state-run schools, a large number of reputed Christian schools were fleecing guardians of huge sums of money through various fees and charges.

Bhattacharjee said that owing to extreme financial demands, middle and lower middle-class students, including a large section of Christians, do not have access to reputed schools run by various church denominations.

Chairman of the All-India Minority and Weaker Sections Council Antony Arun Biswas demanded suspension of La Martinere School for Boys principal Sunirmal Chakravarthy till the conclusion of the inquiry into the Rouvanjit's suicide.

Accusing the authorities of most Christian-run schools in West Bengal of being autocratic, Biswas demanded suitable amendments in Article 30 of the Constitution to ensure more government control over the institutions.

He also urged the West Bengal government to revive the posts of Inspector of Anglo-Indian schools, pointing out that the post existed earlier.


First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 21:31

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