CM orders closure of Peace International School in Kochi

T G Babykutty

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered the closure of the Peace International School in Ernakulam which has been under scanner for objectionable and non-secular content in the syllabus.

The action comes in the wake of reports filed by the District Collector and the Education Department.

The Kozhikode-based Peace Foundation operates more than 10 schools under the name ‘Peace International.’

Whether the directive is applicable to other schools of the foundation will be known once the Government Order is issued.

The Chief Minister has demanded that the students in the school, located at Chakkaraparambu here, be shifted to other schools in the region.

The complaint against the school was that the syllabus encourages Islamic extremist ideologies. Following the complaint, police registered case against School Principal, Administrator and Management Committee members.

The police are trying to bring the school Managing Director M M Akbar from abroad.

A case was registered in October 2016 on a complaint filed by Ernakulam District Education Officer. The case was registered on charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and involving in actions prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

A probe conducted by the Education Department found that the school does not follow textbooks of NCERT, CBSE or SCERT.

The Director of Public Instruction and the Education Secretary have submitted reports upholding these findings. The government has also decided not to give NOC or CBSE nod to the school.

The District Education Officer’s report had stated that teaching a syllabus giving prominence to a single religion is violation of education rights. The Intelligence agencies have found that Abdul Rashid and Yasmin Ahammed, who are facing NIA probe for alleged links with the Islamic State, have worked in the school.

Police probe has revealed that the school teaches textbooks compiled by Burooj Realization, an Islamic education institution based in Navi Mumbai. Three people who readied the text books were later arrested by Kochi police from Mumbai. Though there were allegations that they have links with controversial preacher Zakir Naik, it has not been confirmed.

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