Private schools fall in line after HC order on National Anthem

Chennai, March 8:  The Madras High Court order making singing of the national anthem compulsory in all private schools in Tamil Nadu has been received well in most schools in the city, with many already declaring that they have been following the practice for quite some time.
“It is very surprising that there were schools that didn’t provide for the singing of the national anthem. Here, we hoist the national flag every Monday and sing the national anthem. It is the least respect that we can give to the country,” said Ms. Amudhalakshmi, Principal of Chettinad Vidyashram in Adyar.
Most of the private schools mentioned by the petitioner K.Selvathirumal, including Chettinad Vidyashram, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, DAV Girls Senior Secondary School and Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram already have a tradition of singing the national anthem during assembly hours.
“We received a circular from the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) in November 2015, in which one of the points mentioned was to pay due respect to the country and the national anthem by singing it at least during the assembly and including it in the curriculum. Since then, we have been singing it every day at 8.45 am, after the second period. There is no question of disobeying the CBSE’s directions,” said a school official at Maharishi Vidya Mandir in Chetpet.
Students corroborate this view, adding that most schools have incorporated the national anthem as part of their curriculum, if not since the beginning, at least since the last 2-3 months.
“I have been studying in Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram since the 5th standard, and we have always sung the national anthem during assembly,” said Jaswanth, a class 12 student of the school.
Though it was not mandatory in certain Christian educational institutions, the recent order has urged the managements of a few schools to take steps to introduce it.
“We are yet to convene a meeting of the school administration. After that, we will definitely take a decision regarding the High Court order. Since the board exams are happening now, we will make a decision on it with respect to the new academic year,” said Manoharan.S, General Manager of St. Patrick’s Educational Institutions.
The High Court’s decision was based on a petition from Selvathirumal, who said that it was necessary for every citizen to know the national anthem pay respect to the national flag.

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