Karnataka government issues notice to Bengaluru school over Bible row
While it awaits the school’s response, the government has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools for religious teachings and issue notices
The state government has issued a notice to Clarence High School in Richards Town in East Bengaluru to explain its decision to mandate teaching of the Bible.
Considering complaints from parents and media reports, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education issued a notice to the school on Tuesday, with Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh confirming that the government will take confirming that the government will take action after the school’s response.
The minister told a press conference on Tuesday that the school’s action is a violation of the Karnataka Education Act. “While issuing a No Objection Certificate to other board schools, we insist that they stick to the provisions of the act,” he said.
Although minority educational institutions may get administrative relaxations, they are not allowed to teach religious books. “There will be no special provisions in the curriculum to teach or preach religious books in schools. All these were mentioned while issuing the No Objection Certificate,” Nagesh added.
While it awaits the school’s response, the department has directed all state block educational officers to monitor schools for religious teachings and issue notices.
Clarence High School has been in the firestorm of controversy after it mandated carrying the Bible to school and asked parents for an undertaking for the same.
Don’t be swayed by false propaganda: Dr Machado
The Archdiocese of Bangalore termed the allegations false and misleading.
Dr Peter Machado, President, Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council, said in a statement: “The management of the school has clarified that such a practice was there in the past. Since last year, no child is required to carry a Bible to school or is asked to read it by force.”
He also said being a minority Christian institution, the school is well within its rights to conduct Bible or religious classes for Christians outside of the school hours.
Dr Machado urged people not to be swayed by false propaganda by organisations with vested interests. “Join hands with us in shaping and moulding the future of our children,” he said.
He also referred to the government’s plan to introduce the Bhagavad Gita in schools from next year, saying: “If children are requested to buy books of the Bhagavad Gita and (texts of) other religions, can it be
considered as forcing them to be influenced or inducing them to convert to a particular religion? Certainly not.
“Therefore, using the scripture book in minority schools to promote morals and ethical values cannot be considered forcefully alluring students towards their religion.”
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