MP Higher Secondary School principal refuses army officer’s bidding, CEO orders him to oblige
Srinagar: The school education department Kashmir has asked principals of higher secondary schools in Srinagar to shortlist meritorious male students for an army-sponsored Sadbhavana (goodwill) tour commencing next month.
The move came after the army requested the department to send higher secondary school students on Sadbhavana tour.
Each school has been asked to select three meritorious students for the tour to several Indian cities, Pune.
Twenty students from city higher secondary schools will be sent to the tour, chief education officer Srinagar Arif Iqbal Malik said.
He said he has written letters to principals of the higher secondary schools for the same.
“In next few days the list will be finalised and accordingly the students will have an opportunity to avail free of cost tour to Pune in June,” he told Kashmir Reader.
He said the 10-day tour will be as good as the last year’s “Pariyoon ka Parvaaz (flight of fairies)” tour, which comprised 20 girl students and two teachers to various Indian cities. The tour had generated controversy.
Since 2014-15, the continuity of such tours has not broken, Malik said.
“I welcome all those who give such a chance to students to travel across India. I cash in on such opportunities. We are in the process to select the students now,” he added.
On May 17, Kashmir Reader learnt, an army team led by an officer visited the MP Higher Secondary School at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan in Srinagar and asked the principal that the army can sponsor 100 boys for the tour.
The principal, however, refused. Later in the day the education department sent a letter to the principal and asked him to nominate students.
On Friday, the army officer again visited the school for selecting students only to be told that the principal has been transferred.
“The officer left the school premises because there was no authority that could sanction such selection,” a lecturer said on condition of anonymity.
Indian army stands accused of countless human rights abuses and is seen by the majority of people as an army of occupation. It has been organising medical camps, cricket tournaments, ‘national integration educational tours’ to various Indian cities and other activities to “win hearts and minds” of Kashmiris. These activities have been sharply criticised by the resistance groups.
Director school education Kashmir Shah Faesal said there is no harm in “constructive engagement” with the army as they “share the burden of the department”.
“Army is a very important institution and they are sharing the burden of the department by organising Bharat Dharshan under Sadbhavana. Other departments such as police, NGOs and others are also helping in sharing the burden of the department,” said Faesal, adding, “You have to see it holistically, not merely an individual institution.”