In a bizarre development, the Department of Public Instruction has issued a show-cause notice to Delhi Public School (DPS) and Deens Academy (DA) for taking part in a protest demanding better infrastructure for Mahadevapura recently.
On October 18, scores of residents and several schools had staged a protest over the crumbling civic infrastructure in Mahadevapura, and demanded that MLA Arvind Limbavali step down if he couldn’t fulfil the promises made to residents. These two schools were also part of the protest.
In a letter to the DPS and the DA written on October 19, Block Education Officer (BEO) South-4 said, “The DPS and DA have taken students to the protest against the local MLA on October 18. Taking schoolchildren to such private programmes without seeking the department’s permission is illegal. Also, making schoolchildren chant slogans against the MLA means to be working against the system of government and the department.”
The officer asked why disciplinary action should not be taken against the school and gave three days to reply to the notice.
Speaking to DH, Hanumantharayappa, BEO, South-4, said, “It was illegal to take schoolchildren for the protest without seeking permission from the department as it involves the safety of children. If something had happened to the children, the department would have been answerable.”
Asked about the letter that was stressing only on taking children to protest against the MLA, Hanumantharayappa said, “The notice has nothing to do with the protest against the MLA. We were concerned about the safety of the children.”
Mansoor Ali Khan, the board member of the DPS, said the protest was to demand better infrastructure and was not against the MLA.
“Our schoolchildren are inconvenienced due to bad infrastructure. They have to wait for hours together for buses during exams also. It was all about infrastructure. There was nothing wrong with the protest as the participants were residents of Whitefield, and it was not a private programme,” he added.
He said the school had taken permission from the parents to take part in the protest. “I have not received the physical copy of the letter. Once we receive it, we will reply,” he said.