LAHORE: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Wednesday issued a notice to the Punjab Secretary Schools (primary) on a petition of the Pakistan Punjabi Adabi Board against banning use of the Punjabi language on its Sahiwal campus by a private school.

As the chief justice began hearing, Advocate Tahir Mahmood Sindhu appeared on behalf of the board and said the headmaster of Beaconhouse School System’s Sahiwal campus recently issued a circular against use of “foul language” by students during school timings. He said as per the circular the foul language include taunts, abuses, Punjabi and hate speech.

The counsel stated that the school administration by dubbing Punjabi a foul language violated the Constitution that required the government to preserve regional languages as well as national language (Urdu).

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah expressed concern over the impugned act of the school and questioned as to how a particular language could be declared foul.

The petitioner’s counsel urged the court to set aside the circular of the school and direct the government to take action against those responsible for demeaning the Punjabi language.

The chief justice sought a report from the secretary schools by Nov 15.

PA: A ruling party MPA has moved the Punjab Assembly against the school chain management on the allegation of banning the use of the Punjabi language on its campuses.

Hina Parvez Butt submitted an adjournment motion with the assembly secretariat on Wednesday, which said that as per a media report the Beaconhouse School system administration in clear violation of the Article 251 of the Constitution had banned speaking of the Punjabi language on its campuses.

It said the step hurt the feelings of the Punjabi living in the province as well as those who love this language, while the organisations engaged in the promotion of the language had also registered their protest.

It said as the masses were upset and angry at the school chain’s decision, the motion should be discussed in the house suspending other proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Beaconhouse School System says it has “never barred students from speaking Punjabi language on campus but the entire issue stemmed from a simple miscommunication on part of the one of the school headmasters in Sahiwal.

“The management has also withdrawn with immediate effect the circular that led to the misreported confusion on the ban on Punjabi language.”

The school administration has further clarified that the headmaster in Sahiwal only intended to stop students from using Punjabi swear words, but he did not phrase the sentence right in the notification.

Published in Dawn October 20th, 2016

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