The Tamil Nadu government has said no to centre's proposal of setting up 32 Navodaya schools in the state. Considering that Hindi is compulsory in Navodaya schools, Tamil Nadu government told the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that centre's Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya would not fit in with the State's education policy especially the language policy. Tamil Nadu counsel simply held that there were enough schools to provide education to children from poor families and there was no need to set up union government-run schools.
A total of Rs 600 crore was to be spent on setting up Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya run by Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. While 600 Navodaya schools have been set up across the country, not a single JNV is established in Tamil Nadu. The state has MHRD-run Kendriya Vidyalaya for central government employees' children but no Navodaya that chooses talented children in rural areas and provides them with quality education, without regard to their families' socio-economic conditions.
During a hearing on a petition seeking establishment of Navodaya schools in Tamil Nadu, the state opposed the same and said that Navodaya schools did not comply with language policy in education in Tamil Nadu. "JNV model schools would not fit in with the State's education policy where two languages, prominently English and Tamil or optional languages are being taught as language subjects. Moreover, the State has adequate schools, including both government and private to provide education to downtrodden children and others. So it does not need JNV schools," state counsel said.
JNV schools follow a three-language-formula. Students have to compulsorily study a regional language, English and Hindi. Educators are of the belief that the move to set up Navodaya schools is an attempt by the union government to impose Hindi. Hindi is a compulsory language in Navodaya schools. While the petition was filed by an individual, it was learnt during arguments on Wednesday that the centre intended to spend Rs 600 crore to build Navodaya schools in Tamil Nadu but the government has been stonewalling it. The hearing in the case has been adjourned to June 20.