Jharkhand govt to change school uniforms for students
The Jharkhand government has decided to change school uniforms for students, drawing sharp criticism from the Opposition.
State education minister and JMM senior leader Jagarnath Mahto, speaking to media on Monday, said that the proposal from Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) had got his nod.
“The proposal of changing school uniforms was brought before me by the JEPC and I gave my consent. Since the uniform amount had already been sent for this fiscal (2022-23), the new uniforms would be implemented from the next academic session (2023-24),” said Mahto.
This would be the third instance since the state was carved out of Bihar (in 2000) when school uniforms would be changed. Since the creation of the state the uniform for all sections — primary, middle and secondary — was white (shirt) and deep blue (pant/pyjama for girls). However in 2015-16, when Raghubar Das-led BJP government was in power, the colour was changed to off-white (shirt) and maroon (pant/pyjama). This time the government would be going for a separate colour for primary section and another colour for middle and secondary sections.
“The primary section would have pink shirt, navy blue pant (pyjama) and navy blue tie, while the middle and secondary section would have green with white shade shirt and green pant (pyjama). The colour code has been given after a lot of thought as the green colour is soothing to eyes and in sync with our focus for environmental consciousness,” said Mahto.
However, BJP spokesperson Pratul Sahdeo saw politics in it. “We would have been happy if the amount spent on the uniforms would have been used to improve the infrastructure of the schools. We all know green and white resembles the party flags of which party in the state and the purpose behind this sudden change of colour is also known to all. However, their game plan of sending political message would not succeed as people are more aware of their rights and will teach this government, which is more intent on looting mineral resources in the name of protecting jal (water), jungle (forest) and zameen (land), a lesson in the right time,” said Sahdeo.
Green with white bow and arrow is the party flag of JMM.
The decision would impact nearly 35,000 government schools comprising over 42 lakh students.
According to sources in the state education and literacy department, nearly Rs 600 crore is spent annually on two sets of school uniforms, shoes and socks that are given free to students.
Mahto however denied any politics behind the decision.
“Had it been so, we would have picked the same colour for primary school students too,” the minister said.
Last month, the government also took a decision of changing new colour paints to schools in the form of green-and-white shades, the colours associated with the JMM’s party flag which also invited scathing criticism from the BJP.
Earlier, school buildings were painted pink and toilets blue.