Published: 19th February 2020
Kerala teachers sent on leave for distributing pamphlets with Goddess Saraswati picture, Om symbol on it
Pamphlets with pictures of Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ayyappa and Om symbol, had been distributed to students by the teachers
Two teachers of a government school have been sent on leave by the school administration after receiving complaints from the parents over their children being given prayer pamphlets with religious figures and symbols on them.
Pushpakumari, the Headmistress of Azhikode government UP school, however, said that the issue has been resolved. "As part of improving public education various workshops on Science, communicative English and Mathematics were conducted in school. In one such workshop, the person who took a class on Math gave away printed pamphlets to students. Two teachers who were in charge failed to notice that it contained religious symbols like OM and pictures of Hindu gods. A Math prayer written by one of the teachers was also included in the booklet," Pushpakumari said.
Pamphlets with pictures of Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ayyappa and Om symbol, had been distributed to students by the teachers.
"Some parents complained about the use of religious figures in the pamphlets. A probe was ordered by the Education Department and the teachers were asked to go on leave on February 10," she added.
It is important to note that the school in which the pamphlets were distributed has more than 80 per cent of students from the Muslim community.
An inquiry was conducted by the administration and a report on this regard has been submitted by the Assistant Educational Officer (AEO), Raj Kumar.
"There were efforts from certain parties to give it a communal agenda and spark of religious tension. But the local people and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) did not allow them to take matters in their hands. The AEO discussed with all those involved and amicably settled the issue. Both teachers have requested a transfer as they are hesitant to continue in the same school," a senior official of the Educational Department said.
On the other hand, one of the teachers, Rajalakshmi, who wrote the Math prayer has lodged a complaint with Aruvikkara police station alleging that she received threats after the incident.