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Karachi: The Sindh government has suspended the registration of a private school in Karachi after a student’s face was blackened with ink for speaking Urdu in class, instead of English.

The Directorate of Sindh government’s Education Department responsible for the registration and inspection of private educational institutions has also imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on the private school.

The move came after parents of the Grade 5 student lodged a complaint against the teacher.

A five-member inquiry committee of the directorate constituted on the directives of Sindh Education Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, probed the issue.

The probe committee in his findings said the school administration did not handle the issue in a proper manner after the parents submitted a complaint against the teacher. The committee is of the view that the incident showed the school did not treat the Urdu language in the desired manner.

The incident went viral on social media as people demanded strict action against such elite private schools whose administration discourages use of Urdu during teaching hours and give undue preference to the English language in the classroom.

A demonstration was also held outside the school premises by a group of citizens who demanded that Urdu being the national language of Pakistan should be given due recognition and honour by private educational institutions. They also demanded that private schools should ensure that their students learn Urdu alongside English.

The Education Minister said that every student in Sindh had the right to be taught in his or her mother tongue and no one in the classroom should be punished for speaking the national language.

In a video message, Sibtain Naqvi, who serves on the management board of the school, said the school administration had already accepted the resignation of the teacher.

He said the punishment given by the teacher didn’t reflect the policy and charter of the school which always strived hard to promote the Urdu language among its teachers and students.