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‘Threat to learning activities’: Tripura bans political events on school grounds

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Tripura has issued an order banning political parties from using school resources, including playgrounds, to hold political events or rallies.

In an order issued on Saturday, director of school education Chandni Chandran notified guidelines for using school buildings, classrooms, school premises, school playgrounds, conference halls and auditoriums saying, “…. no school resources including playground shall be used by any political party/organizer to conduct political functions/rallies etc..”.

The order also said that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the director of secondary or elementary education directorate or the concerned district education officer may be obtained for conducting other programmes, that too only on holidays or after school hours.

The order also mentioned that a few headmasters or teachers-in-charge of schools were found to have approved the use of school grounds for political gatherings during school hours. It added that the department would hold such actions “completely unacceptable” as they pose “serious threat to teaching-learning activities” and violate the norms of the department, especially since the schools have now reopened after long breaks owing to Covid-19.

Action will be taken against headmasters or teachers-in-charge for violations already committed, said the order and warned against violations in the future.

The order stated that headmasters or teachers-in-charges would be held responsible to inform the inspector of schools or district education officers if any event is planned. It would be immediately taken up with local administration and police authorities, asking for cancelling the concerned programme, said the order.