Teacher suspended for letting students offer namaz in Indian school

Kolar (Karnataka, India), January 29 (KMS): The Education Department in Indian state of Karnataka has suspended a teacher on charges of letting students offer namaz inside the school premises in Kolar district.

S.M. Umadevi, in-charge headmistress of the Balechengappa Kannada Model Higher Primary School in Someshwarapalya, has been suspended by the Department of Public Instruction.

As per the Indian media, Hindu groups had created ruckus by entering the office of the headmistress and protesting against the school earlier this week for promoting a religion.

“It is the duty of the teachers of government schools to inculcate a sense of national integration. Religious tolerance, practices and traditions must be there. However, by allowing students to perform namaz in one of the classrooms instills a divisive mindset,” the suspension order stated.

The order added that the act of the teacher highlights dereliction of duty, and negligence on her part. This would have a negative impact on learning and will hinder the overall progress of the educational institution, it added.

The order further stated that this conduct of the teacher does not suit the dignity of a government worker, and is against the Karnataka Civil Conduct Rules 1966, Section 3 (i) (ii) and (iii). Hence, the decision has been made to initiate action against the teacher, it said.

Umadevi has been suspended until further orders pending an inquiry. She has also been asked not to leave the district headquarters without permission.

The video of about 20 students offering namaz inside a classroom has gone viral on social media.