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Friday, January 17, 2020

Gujarat school gets students to pen CAA postcards to PM, parents force retreat

Dozens of parents went to the office of the school trustee-cum-owner to protest against the exercise.

Written by Vaibhav Jha | Ahmedabad | Updated: January 9, 2020 11:55:01 am
Gujarat school gets students to pen CAA postcards to PM, parents force retreat School says ‘misuse of authority’ by some teachers.

“Congratulations. I, citizen of India, congratulate honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). I and my family support this act.”

A PRIVATE school in Ahmedabad asked its students, from Classes V to X, to write this message on postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. However, following protests by parents on Wednesday, the school management apologised and called the exercise a “misunderstanding”. The postcards were returned to the parents, who tore them up.

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The incident occurred at Little Star School, an all-girls school affiliated to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Education Board in Kankaria area of Ahmedabad. According to some parents, during classes on Tuesday, teachers wrote the congratulatory message on the blackboards, and asked the students to copy them on postcards. The students were asked to submit these postcards, addressed to “PMO, South Block secretariat building, Raisina Hills, New Delhi”, along with their residence address.

Students of Class X, who are currently appearing for their pre-board internal exams, were given photocopies of the same message. “My daughter studies in Class VI. I got to know on Tuesday evening that her teacher had asked the entire class to write congratulatory messages in support of CAA to Modi. My child doesn’t understand the issue. She is being forced to be a part of it, which is unacceptable to us,” said a parent.

“Students of Class X are currently appearing for their internal exams. They too were told to write these postcards. When they protested, they were told that those who did not submit these postcards would not be given marks in the internal exams. What is the purpose of mentioning their residence address, that too without the parents’ permission,” said a parent.

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On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of parents went to the office of the school trustee-cum-owner to protest against the exercise. The school management apologised to the parents, called it a “misunderstanding”, and returned the postcards to the parents. The parents then tore the postcards in the trustee-cum-owner’s office as a mark of their protest.

READ | Will burn copies of CAA in Ahmedabad on January 10: Jignesh Mevani

When contacted, the school management denied that they had conducted this exercise under the influence of any party. “The issue has been sorted out, it was a case of misuse of authority by some teachers who conducted the exercise in some classes on Tuesday without my knowledge. We returned the postcards to the parents, and they tore them up,” said Jinesh Parasram, trustee and owner of the school. The school has about 1,200 students enrolled from Nursery to Class 10.

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