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Green boards for Kerala schools

Thiruvananthapuram, June 28: Blackboards may soon be passé in Kerala’s government schools if the Indian Union Muslim League has its way.

The party whose minister is in charge of education has started experimenting with “green boards” in its stronghold Malappuram, saying such boards are the international norm.

Reports from Malappuram said the experiment had been initiated in education minister P.K. Abdu Rabb’s constituency, Tirurangadi. Neighbouring Tirur too has decided to follow suit and work is on in 33 government schools in the Assembly division.

However, the green “initiative” has not gone down well with rival parties, which wondered if the Muslim League’s love for green had anything to do with the colour of its flag.

Tirur MLA C. Mammootty of the IUML said the move was part of a scheme to raise standards in government schools to the international level.

Green boards were introduced in American schools in the 1960s. They were seen as a better option than black slate — looking at a green board is more pleasing and less strenuous to the eye. They are also lighter and more durable than fragile slate, hence cost-effective. In the nineties, whiteboards began to be introduced.

“As part of this scheme, tenders have been floated for renovating 33 schools…. The floors will be tiled, schools painted in bright colours, lawns laid and compound walls constructed. Green is more soothing to eyes, so many big universities in and outside India and some schools in the state have adopted green boards,” Mammootty said.

Abdu Rabb was not available for comment, but a news channel quoted him as saying no decision on green boards had been taken.

Gopala Krishna Bhat, the director of public instructions, too denied any such move. “Kerala education rules say government schools will have blackboards. So, the law will have to be changed before they can be replaced with boards of any other colour.”