Viveka, the new government classrooms scheme, will be officially launched on November 14, on Children’s Day in Kalaburagi district and Karnataka government has decided to colour code them in saffron.
The State government is planning to construct 8,100 new classrooms in government schools across the State and decided to name them after Swami Vivekananda. All the classrooms will be in the same structure and colour, and will have sayings of Swami Vivekananda on the walls and pillars.
Earlier, the Department of School Education and Literacy had not revealed the colour coding of the Viveka classrooms.
However, speaking at the centenary celebrations of the ‘Vidya Dana Samiti Education Society in Gadag on Sunday, B.C. Nagesh, Minister of Department of School Education and Literacy said that, “Viveka new classrooms will be in saffron colour, not because of the ideology it denotes, but because the architects suggested it.”
However, various educationists and progressive thinkers have opposed the government move and condemned the government’s idea of using Swami Vivekananda for their “political agenda”. They also alleged that this is another step towards saffornisation of education system.
Dr. Niranjanaradhya V.P., Development Educationist, said, “Why do we use religious symbols in secular institutions? Moreover, from the pedagogical point, what we need is child-friendly and learning enabling classrooms. There are ample of opportunities to use local thematics, pictures, flora and fauna, etc., to make classrooms attractive to children of that region which is also a process of learning in itself. The nature of the minister is to do things as per whims and fancies guided by the political ideology he represents. This is clearly politicisation, communalisation and new form of saffornisation of education. This is against the core values of the Constitution that emphasises the secular fabric of social institutions including public schools.”
But, the minister defended the move and said, “The State government does not get into things like the colour of walls or windows. Such decisions are left to the architects. We have chosen the colour as the architects suggested it. Some people look for opportunities to politicise everything. They seem to be allergic to the colour saffron. They oppose it where ever it can be seen. I ask them why do you not oppose the national flag as it has saffron too? I ask them why do you not apply the colour green everywhere?,’‘ he asked.
What is Viveka classrooms scheme?
Under the Viveka classrooms scheme, the old and non functional classrooms will be replaced. And the department will be constructing new classrooms in the new schools like Karnataka Public Schools (KPS) or Adarsha Schools and others where classrooms are required.
The department has approved around ₹992 crore for this scheme and around 7,000 Viveka classrooms will be constructed by the State fund, SCP/TSP, SDP fund. Remaining 1,100 classrooms will be building by Kalyana Karnataka Regional Development Board (KKRDB) fund.
Dr. Vishal. R., Commissioner for Department of Public Instruction said Viveka Classroom scheme will be officially launched in Kalaburagi by the Chief Minister. “The classrooms will be also inaugurated on the same day by the MLA in all the constituencies, where the construction work is completed,” he added.