By Matters India Reporter
Bengaluru: The association of private schools in Karnataka has demanded the resignation of the southern Indian state’s primary education minister for his “irresponsible statements.”
Nanjaiah Mahesh, the minister, on September 29 compared private school teachers to nuns and said students from such schools are like parrots who just repeat what is taught in class.
“Private school teachers are like Christian nuns, who look serious and stand straight,” the 62-year-old minister said, pointing out how there is “absolute silence in private schools with discipline instilled by such nuns.”
The minister was speaking at an event organized by Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to honor select alumni of government schools who have contributed to their schools under old-students’ associations.
The minister later clarified that he had not meant to offend nuns or teachers, and that he only made the comparison in the context the nuns impose strict discipline among their students. He, however, he maintained that private school students reproduced what is taught to them like parrots. In contrast those in government schools are like eagles, who fight to make their voice heard. “They even argue with teachers if needed,” he said.
“If you visit any private school in the state after 10 am, there will be pin-drop silence and kids will be waiting for the day to get over and fly like free birds. As the teachers at private schools are like nuns, serious and more disciplined, kids will also be serious and seriousness kills creativity,” Mahesh said.
He also found teachers in government schools “100 percent” intelligent and “far better” than their counterparts in private schools.
Students in government schools are also more intelligent than private school kids, claimed the minister who wants to deny permission for new private schools in the state for the next three years.
The only problem is of co-ordination between teachers and students which is not happening and if that happens, our government school kids will overtake private school kids,” the minister said.
He further pointed out that only products of government schools join police services and professions such as nursing so that they can pay back to the nation. Those from private schools contribute to other nations such as the United States and Russia, he alleged.
“Our government school kids will remain in the state, even if they become a teacher, constable or driver. They will give back to the society by staying here,” he added.
The statements by the minister were condemned by private school managements. The managements even demanded the minister’s resignation for what they termed as “irresponsible” statements and for violating rights of the children by discriminating between government and private school kids.
D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka said, “How can the minister give such immature and irresponsible statements? We demand that the minister step down.”