//Jesuits organize Conference to protect the rights of minority schools

Jesuits organize Conference to protect the rights of minority schools

A Jesuit organization took the initiative to organize a Conference to demand that the State government of Tamil Nadu, India extend to the minority schools special schemes it offers to the government schools. JCERT (Jesuit Council for Education, Research and Training) of the MDU Jesuit province, in collaboration with the Federation of the Tamil Nadu Government Aided Private Schools, and Catholic religious congregations organized a massive protest conference on 28 September at St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu. More than 2800 teachers, school administrators, priests, brothers, sisters and others participated in this conference.

Fr. SM. John Kennedy SJ, the main organizer and the director of JCERT, while explaining the demands of this Conference, said the 7.5% reservation being given to the government school students in the admission to medical colleges and professional courses, Rs. 1,000 monthly assistance given to women under ‘Pudhumai Pen Scheme’, breakfast for school students scheme, free English medium education and other such schemes, given right now only to the students of the government schools should be extended to the students of government-aided private schools also.

The Conference demanded that the teachers appointed in the vacancies, caused by the death, retirement, voluntary retirement of teachers, should be paid a regular salary from the date of appointment. Approval and subsequent grants should be given to all Tamil Medium minority schools started after 1991 as per the Government Order issued by late Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi in 2011.

Fr Kennedy said that the state government should withdraw the new norms proclaimed under the Tamil Nadu Private School Regulation Act 2018 as these norms are against the rights of the minority schools. Madurai bench of the Madras High Court gave a verdict in favour of teachers regarding the appointment and deployment of teachers in minority schools. But the State Government has gone on an appeal to the Supreme Court against this verdict. The Conference demanded that the TN government should withdraw this appeal and implement the verdict in toto.

“Even though we have submitted these appeals on various occasions to the present rulers, the Government has done nothing,” he said. He hoped that this massive Conference would attract the attention of the Chief Minister Mr. Stalin.

– S.M. John Kennedy, SJ (MDU)