The Jharkhand government’s recent move to change the school uniform of students has drawn backlash with the opposition alleging that it has a political agenda. The colour scheme of the uniform has been changed from maroon and cream white to green, which happens to be the colour of the party flag of ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
The state education minister and JMM senior leader Jagarnath Mahto shared that he gave his nod to the proposal to change the school uniform after it was presented before him by the Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC), according to news agency PTI.
The current uniform for all the students of the Jharkhand government schools is the same. While the shirt is cream-white in colour, the lower is maroon. After the new move, more than 42 lakh students studying in nearly 35,000 government schools will have their uniforms changed.
The school uniform colour for students from the middle school to the higher secondary level has been changed to shades of green. The primary school students will be wearing navy blue and pink uniforms.
While Mahto has said that the green colour is soothing to the eyes and represents the environment, the opposition BJP claims that the move is politically motivated. The JMM party flag is green in colour and features a white bow and arrow. Hemant Soren-led JMM is in power in Jharkhand in a coalition with the Congress.
Earlier, more than 35,000 government school buildings were given a fresh coat of green and white shades. While it was said that the colour was decided after recommendations from experts, the BJP claimed it was associated with the JMM party flag and was chosen to send out a political message.
“The colour coding of the government is nothing but an act of sending out a political message. Many schools are functioning without headmasters and there is a shortage of teachers. The government must first focus on improvement of quality of education and infrastructural development of schools,” BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo told PTI.