The Kerala High Court on Monday stayed the state government’s order to merge high school and higher secondary directorates as per the Khader committee recommendations. The stay was issued based on a plea by the Nair Service Society and other teacher groups.
The single judge bench which stayed the order referred to the Central Government’s National Education Policy as the reason for a stay on the Kerala government’s education reformed. The central government’s education policy, when implemented, will override all attempts by the states to reform the education system, cancelling the Khader committee report’s recommendations.
The stay was issued after the state government could not respond to a question by the court. The bench asked if the Khader committee recommendations have been prepared taking into consideration the new Education Policy of the central government, to which state government had no response. Following this, the court ordered for a stay on merging both the directorates (higher secondary and high school).
Recommended earlier this year, the Khader committee report stirred a lot of controversy in the state after it suggested merging of the different directorates of school education in Kerala. Several higher secondary school teachers protested against the government’s decision to implement the reforms. They said that merging directorates and bringing all classes under a single authority will affect quality of higher secondary schools.
Further, higher secondary schools in Kerala followed CBSE in classes 11 and 12 and these schools saw an influx of private school students. The merger would require classes 11 and 12 too to eventually follow the state syllabus, which was not as good as CBSE.
While teachers protested, several other supporters stated that the Khader committee was only attempting to bring uniformity in the education sector, with reforms to ensure a smooth flow of learning from classes 1-12.