-By Sanjoy Kumar Dey
After around 35,000 government school buildings in Jharkhand are repainted in green and white, 42 lakh odd students studying in those institutes will get uniforms in new colour schemes to “freshen up the mind”.
For the students from middle school to the higher secondary level, the colour scheme of the uniform will be shades of green, while for primary schools, pupils will wear navy blue and pink uniforms, School Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto said. Presently, the colour code of uniform for all school students is the same – maroon in the lower part and cream white in the upper.
The BJP, however, finds a hidden political agenda in the selection of colours in the children’s school uniform as, the party claimed, those of the middle and high school students are inspired by the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s green-and-white flag.
“The Jharkhand Education Project Council’s proposal related to change in colour of uniform has been approved by me and an official notification in this regard will be issued in a day or two,” Mahto told PTI.
The lower part of the new uniform for classes 6 to 12 will be of deep green colour, while the upper part of it will have a light green shade. The dupatta for girls will also be deep green.
Similarly, the colour of the lower part of the uniform for classes 1 to 5 will be navy blue and the upper part pink. The tie for these primary classes will be of navy blue colour, officials said.
“The new uniform will be introduced from this academic session. The government will provide uniforms to all students from classes 1 to 12.
“The state government, including the Centre’s aid, spends Rs 600 per student every year for two sets of uniforms, shoes and socks. However, the amount is very small. We will try to increase it,” the minister said. Mahto said that the objective behind the change in colour was to give a fresh feeling to the students’ minds, as their uniforms have not been changed since 2015-16.
“The colour picked for middle and high school students is very close to nature and also good for the eyes,” the minister said. Contacted by PTI, BJP state president Deepak Prakash said it is unfortunate that the JMM is now taking politics to the school level.
“We all love the green colour but this government is using this colour to send out a political message. The government is playing a political agenda in the name of nature. School students should be kept out of politics,” Prakash said.
Mahto denied that there is politics in the decision to change the colour scheme of school uniforms.
“The opposition may find politics in it. But I am speaking the truth – there is no politics in it. Had it been so, we would also have picked the same colour for primary school students,” the minister said.
More than 35,000 government schools in Jharkhand are also getting a fresh coat of paint in green-and-white shades, colours associated with the JMM’s party flag. The minister said that work to paint the school buildings is on and it will be completed in a month.
The walls of the school buildings will be painted in swan, angora or coconut white, while frosted green or mehndi green will be used for borders and projections of the walls. The doors and windows, and also the toilets will be painted in deep green.
Earlier, school buildings were painted pink and toilets blue.
When the government decided to repaint the schools last month, the BJP cried foul alleging that the shades were chosen to send out a political message.