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Not A Minority

The contention of Christians in Kerala who are under the discipline of he ecclesiastical heads, that the schools established and maintained by them under the prescribed rules of the Department are to be reckoned as minority schools or denominational schools is absolutely untenable. There are minority schools in Kerala, but these are not many. They are owned by Anglo-Indians, Jews, Gujarathies, etc. The claim of Christians that they should be allowed to establish and maintain minority schools is not correct because the Christians are not a minority community in the State. In fact they are among the three largest communities of Kerala.

The main reason for the continuance of teachers’ disabilities under private agencies is want of proper legal sanction for departmental rules and practices. Attempts by managers to circumvent and, if necessary, defy departmental orders are innumerable. Out of six thousand or more petitions received from teachers during the months of April, May, June and July, more than five thousand are from teachers of private schools. The grant-in-aid system under which the salaries and allowances of teachers are being paid from the Treasury does not concede to the teacher the legal claim for his remuneration from Government. The payment is made by the Government to the Manager according to the bill presented by him. Once the payment is made, the amount belongs to the Manager because it has been paid to him towards the total expenditure supposed to have been already incurred. There are hundreds of cases before Government in which Managers have not paid the full amount due to the teachers. In many cases they claim from the teachers a share towards the maintenance of the schools.

Recently one more undesirable thing has developed in the private sector. The teacher’s job has become sufficiently, attractive these days, especially after Government have undertaken to pay the full salary of private school teachers. Educated unemployment being acute in the State, young men and women who seek employment will not grudge paying “hush money” for the sake of securing appointments. Most of the Managers do receive illegal gratification from those who are appointed by them; they are not shy to proclaim that there is nothing immoral about such practice. Instances of such illegal gratification are being pointed out to Government every day by the victims. This bargaining tendency on the part of the managements is systematically keeping out of employment almost the entire low income group of the educated young men and women.