Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Orissa High Court has issued a show-cause notice to the State government regarding its proposal to take over the Secondary Board High School in Cuttack.

The Court has asked the government to reply as to why the notification issued in this regard on December 7, 2023 will not be quashed. Admitting the petition of a former student of the school, Sujogya Samantray, the Court has issued the notice.

The Odisha Secondary Education Act, 1953 was enacted for the development of Secondary schools in Odisha. On the basis of the act, the Secondary Board High School was set up on the premises of the Secondary Board office in 1959. Since then the school has shaped into a leading educational institution in the State.

In his petition, Samantray alleged that the Odisha government is spinning a conspiracy to take over the school in a bid to spread English education in the State.

As per the official notification issued by the Odisha government on December 7, it was stated that the Secondary Board High School, Cuttack will be taken over by State Government with effect from 1 January 2024 to provide infrastructural development as well as quality education in the school.

However, the petitioner urged the High Court to quash the notification on the ground that it is violating various sections of Odisha Secondary Education Act. The next hearing of the case will be held on January 31.

“As per Section 11K of Secondary Education Act, the Secondary Board School, Cuttack has been set up and the management and other responsibilities of the school have been entrusted upon the Board. The State government has absolutely no control over the Board School. In a bid to priorities English medium schools, the State government is violating Section 11K and Section 34 of the Odisha Secondary Education Act and intending to take over the Board School. The High Court realized the fact and issued notice to the State government in this regard,” said the petitioner’s lawyer Akshay Kumar Pande.

However, no reaction could be obtained from the State government in this regard.