‘Schools were asked to allow such applications’

Officials of the Directorate of General Education have said a Government Order [(MS) 77/74/G Edn. dated 29.4.74] has directed head teachers not to refuse applications in which religion has not been specified.

There was also a similar order when it came to the SSLC. Parents had the right not to state their religion and could decline to fill the column, the headmaster of a government school said. St. Mary’s School had erred in insisting on a declaration from the parents. An explanation to the parents about possible loss of benefits should have been given, rather than insist on a declaration and expect the parents to just go by it. M. Shajarkhan of the Save Education Committee said government intervention in the matter was necessary, as St. Mary’s School was a prominent institution and such an incident should not have occurred there. The parents were asked to bring a Government Order stating religion was not mandatory. Had the parents not objected, no one would have come to know of the incident.

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