Should a group decide what our children must read?

Should a group decide what our children must read?

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-08-11 11:32 Does anyone has a right to impose what you or I should choose to read, other than our parents in schools? The recent incident where a group of Hindutva activists barged into a classroom where Arabic language was being taught in Mangaluru puts the fundamental question of students’ right to study. These self-proclaimed activists asked the students not to learn the language and worse, thrashed the teacher in front of students, for no fault of his. They claimed that the language was forcefully taught to students, while the wards vehemently denied it.   Learning foreign languages is quintessential in today’s age as it equips students for better prospects especially in translation needs. Today, the country needs language experts to bridge the gap between various nations.  And schools offering these subjects must be lauded. The St Thomas High School aided by State government – attacked by Hindu Rama Sena members – was also in the league of other schools offering various foreign languages. The school authorities have clearly stated that the parents had no issue for teaching Arabic to students and even the class had good attendance. When such is the case, there are many questions that beg answers.   1) How can a group enter the classroom (along with mediapersons) without informing or taking prior permission from the head of institution? 2) When every school is having its own rules and regulations on its syllabus how can a group interfere? What right do they have? 3) If the group was really concerned, why they didn't choose to speak to the institution head before barging into the classroom? 4) Learning foreign languages is part of today’s modern education system. Why should a group be concerned about it? 5) When every individual’s rights is clearly defined by the Constitution what rights the Hindutva activists have to question? Today, the school – under severe pressure – has withdrawn the Arabic classes. The government – instead of being a mute spectator to it – must act on the culprits, who deprived the students of their chance of learning. Author: Shabeena Banu Yk, works as a sub editor with Sanmarga Weekly news paper, Mangaluru. The views expressed here are solely those of author's.