Taking duty lightly

The government’s decision to shut the public schools for two weeks has come under fire. As the textbooks have not made available fully across the country even today, students in some places lost patience and took to the streets, vandalising vehicles and property. The government sensed danger, and has tried to prevent further untoward incidents by suspending the classes. But students, including the Maoist-affiliated ANNISU-R, have protested. The union has branded the closure a ‘ploy to promote the privatisation and commercialisation of education’. It has threatened to ‘support guardians’ by taking the lead of the movement against the closure.

Without going into the allegations, it must, however, be admitted that the prolonged shortages indicate the lack of foresight and irresponsibility of the government agencies. Several weeks have passed since the new classes went into full swing, and the inconvenience and loss the shortages have caused to the students need not be over-emphasised. The reasons for the delay - the printing of the ballot papers for the CA election, the changes in syllabuses, etc. - cannot free the agencies from blame, because, first, they could have anticipated the election, and speeded up work, keeping in view the onset of the new school calendar. Obviously, they thought students could wait. The people responsible should be asked to answer for it. And such things must not happen again.