Kerala HC emphasises Constitutional right to education for all students

Noting that the Constitution protects the right to education for every student, irrespective of their background, the Kerala High Court on Thursday said educational authorities should prioritize safeguarding this right rather than promoting non-educational activities.

The court made this observation in an interim order preventing the state educational authorities from sending school students for the Nava Kerala Sadas being held in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet.

“Needless to say, therefore, the Head Masters/Principals of schools are warned not to subject any of their students/wards to any activities which are not part of the educational curriculum, on the instructions of any of the official respondents in this case”, Justice Devan Ramachandran said in the order.

“I order so because, the right to education is a constitutionally protected right, which ensures to every student and child, notwithstanding their class, creed or status; and it is the duty of the Educational Authorities to protect this, rather than encourage them into activities, which are in non-educational color”, the court said.

When the matter was taken up for hearing, the government informed the court that no child would be forced or encouraged to participate in any event in any of the districts in Kerala.

In his order, Justice Ramachandran said, “normally, this court could have closed the writ petition, based on the aforesaid submissions of learned additional advocate general; but it must be ensured that authorities do not abuse their powers in future.”

The petition was filed by the leader of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), P K Nawas, challenging the order of educational deputy directors from various districts seeking the participation of students in the Nava Kerala Sadas.

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