Gujarat’s new law aims to restrict Christians’ educational rights

Such a law should be enacted in all States. The minority educational institutions usurp grants from the Government and manage their institutions as per their whims without following the guidelines laid down by the Government for the grants. The Church is upset because their mismanagement will be stopped due to the newly enacted law.

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) – Christian and other religious minorities in western India’s Gujarat are upset about a new State law, which the Church says curtails their right to manage their educational institutions. Religious minorities jointly moved the State’s High Court on 7th June seeking to quash the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (Amendment) Act, 2021, which came into effect on 1st June.

So far the Church-managed educational institutions have enjoyed the right to appoint non-teaching and teaching staff including the Principal. They have also framed rules and regulations for the administration of the institutions and to discipline the students and staff.

The new law says that all minority-managed institutions which receive financial aid from the State should appoint non-teaching and teaching staff, including Principals, according to Government norms.

Church-managed institutions mostly select Catholics, often priests and nuns, as heads of schools to retain the Catholic character of the institutions. Church leaders say the new law will take away the Christian identity of Church-managed schools.