‘Apartheid’? Indian primary school under fire for ‘segregating Hindu pupils from Muslims’
October 11, 2018 12:30 PM NPT
Photo: Global Look Press/ Sonali Pal Chaudhury
DELHI, Oct 11: A primary school in India is being slammed for subjecting children to an “apartheid” regime amid allegations it is separating Muslims from Hindus during classes.
The school in the Wazirabad village in Delhi, in the National Capital Region, is facing scrutiny after it was reported that it’s assigning students to classes according to their religion.
According to attendance records analyzed by local news site the Indian Express, Hindu and Muslim pupils are being split up. Class IA, for example, has 36 Hindus while IB has 36 Muslims.
Singh Sehrawat, the teacher who has been directing the school since its principal was transferred in July, however, denied deliberately dividing children on the basis of their religion.
He said the “reshuffling” is “standard procedures” in all schools and aimed at ensuring “peace, discipline and a good learning environment” at the school. He claimed children “fought sometimes.”When asked if the fights were caused by religious differences, he said: “Of course children this young don’t know about religion, but they squabble over things.
“Some children are vegetarian, so there may be differences, and so on. We need to look after the interests of all teachers and students.”
But a source in the school told the Indian Express that the religion-based reshuffling only started when Sehrawat took over.
People took to Twitter to blast the reported segregation, with users saying “innocent” children should not be subjected to such divisive systems.
The Education Department of the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Wednesday reportedly sent an official to inspect the school to verify the allegations.
Sources in the NDMC quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) said that if the claims turn out to be true, quick action will be taken against those responsible.