More than a year after it came under the scanner for teaching objectionable and communal content to its students, a school in Kerala is set to be closed down.
The State Education Department confirmed to TNM that it had issued an order a few weeks ago asking the closure of Peace International School in Ernakulam. This, after taking into account the reports filed by the Education Department and the District Collector.
“Both the reports submitted by the Collector and the Education Secretary went against the school. Therefore, we issued an order to shut down the school,” the office of the Education Minister said.
Further, taking into consideration these enquiry reports, the Chief Minister has given a nod to go ahead in taking action against the school.
Apart from including extremist content in the syllabus, a probe conducted by the Education Department had also revealed that the school did not follow NCERT, CBSE or SCERT textbooks, but followed textbooks compiled by a Mumbai-based Islamic educational institution.
Peace International School came under the scanner in early 2016 when nearly 21 people from across the state fled the country allegedly to join the Islamic terror outfit ISIS. Several of the missing persons had been associated with the Peace chain of schools in Kasaragod, Palakkad, Malappuram and Ernakulam.
In October 2016, Peace International School in Ernakulam came under the scanner, this time for promoting enmity among different groups on the basis of religion.
Portions of a Class 2 textbook that propagates Islamic orthodoxy and conversion were leaked, in which there were objective type questions on what the students would do if their friend wanted to convert to Islam. The textbook also taught students how to deal with non-Muslims.
In December 2016, Kochi police nabbed three Mumbai-based publishers for printing the textbooks with objectionable content that were taught at Peace International School.
The institution, headed by Islamic preacher MM Akbar, a man who is known as Kerala’s equivalent of Zakir Naik, has 13 schools under its banner in different districts in the state.
According to reports, the students studying in the Ernakulam branch would be shifted out to other schools.