Millions of our countrymen are searching for the much promised ‘Acche Din’! Even the most powerful microscopes or telescopes are unable helps us to locate those good days! From KG to PG entire education is totally commercialised! Those who can pay in lakhs are getting education. Thousands of government schools are being closed. No less than 40% to 60% of teaching posts are vacant in government colleges and universities! Out of every 3 graduates only 1 is getting a job; that too as a contract worker!
The UPA proclaimed that “The Right to Education Act-2008 (RTE-2009)” has made education a fundamental right! But the fact is that the RTE: (1) by reserving 25% of seats in private institutions for the economically weaker sections; the governments have liberated themselves from the responsibility of funding education and opening schools. Privatisation and Commercialisation of education was legalised (2) gave a legal sanction to discrimination in Education! Henceforth, the rich who can pay are privileged to go to private schools; a large section of the poor are forced to be contended with substandard government schools! (3) Legalised CCE (Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) and its offshoot, the disastrous ‘No Detention Policy’! The BJP governments doesn’t have any difference with this. It wants to implement the RTE with much more vigour and force. But the experience of our people is that under RTE regime 80,000 government schools have been closed down in 12 states of our country! The Madhya Pradesh government is out to privatise 1,21,000 government primary schools! In the name of “cluster schools” the Andhra Pradesh government is out to close down 30,000 government schools! The disastrous effect of ‘No Detention Policy’ is that 53.2% students of 5th standard cannot not read the books of 2nd standard! This situation has compelled more than 30000 parents in Haryana to demand the authorities to fail their wards.(Ref: Dainik Bhaskar: 26th June 2015, MP Edition)
The BJP government is trumpeting ‘Make in India’! India will be a destination to manufacture products of different countries! So, to manufacture ‘skilled workers’ the entire education policy is being re-designed! There is an attempt to introduce ‘skill oriented’ or ‘vocational courses’ right from the secondary level. At the higher education level RUSA (Rashtriya Ucchathar Shiksha Abhiyan), CBCS (Choice Based Credit Course System), Semester System, etc are being forcefully thrust upon all the universities. These policies envisage to dismantle our affiliation system, recklessly permit ‘Autonomous Colleges’ and ‘Deemed Universities’, declare group of colleges to be universities, make education a global commodity! Under Semesterisation, students are under the constant threat of examination; teachers are perennially engaged in examination, evaluation and maintenance of records! They hardly have any time for teaching, learning and cultivation of knowledge. Sports, extracurricular and socio-cultural activities have become the worst casualty; and the students are becoming mere book worms!
Our renaissance thinkers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, Jyotiba Phule, and others considered “Education to be a man making, character building process”! They raised the slogan of “Scientific, Secular and Democratic” Education! It was the dream of our great freedom fighters that in free India it would be realised! Ever since independence it has been the policy of Congress to curtail education, strengthen privatisation and commercialisation of education, and ensure discrimination in education becoming ‘eternal’! The BJP has no issues; it is out to continue this legacy with much more vigour!
Further, the BJP government is out to propagate and abet all obscurantist, unscientific and communal ideas. Towards this end BJP is out to use all official forums, organisations, school textbooks to spread these ideas! Prescribing unscientific and communal books of RSS ideologue Dinanath Batra, to 40,000 schools of Gujarat is a glaring instance of misuse of official power! In school textbooks only scientifically verified truths should be taught. But under BJP’s regime, the textbooks are rewritten to confuse ‘Mythology as History’ and proclaim tales of ‘Hindu mythology’ as the scientific achievements of ancient India. BJP ideologues and the policy makers are very clear, by inculcating old, obscurantist and unscientific ideas, they intend create ‘national jingoism’ based on false pride of ‘Hindu nationalism.’ They intend to emasculate an entire generation from reason, logic and finer human qualities and to whip up communalism, casteism, provincialism, etc. The BJP government is trying to create a Fascistic culture by mixing up ‘skill oriented’ education and ‘spiritualism’!
Dark clouds of despair, frustration and reaction are engulfing India! But, the outbreaks of people’s struggles are appearing like a silver lining in these dark clouds! It is the ray of hope! Many democratic minded and education loving citizens are opposing these changes brought by Modi government. 52 teachers association of various colleges of Delhi University openly opposed the autocratic decision of imposing CBCS system! We appeal to all well meaning and education loving citizens, teachers and students to come forward and resist all anti education policies.
- Build pressure on Indian government so that it doesn’t agrees to give ‘market access’ to ‘higher education sub-sector’ in the upcoming Nairobi rounds of WTO-GATS.
- No to the trident of CBCS, Semesterization and RUSA, which have become tools of commodification of education.
- Increase public expenditure in education to 6% of GDP, 10% of central budget and 30% of state budgets.
- Uphold democratic rights in campuses. Reject Lyngdhoh Committee recommendations. Bring legislation calling for compulsory students’ union elections in all institutions.
- Free universal compulsory quality school education and strengthening facilities for preschool
- Replace the RTE in its present form with a new legislation mandating fully public funded school education. In the meanwhile, private schools can’t be given any leverage to deny the mandatory 25% seats for students from economically weaker sections.
- Legislation to control fee structure and to ensure equal opportunities for students from socio-economically weaker sections in private institutions.
- Stop the entry of foreign universities. No to FDI in education.
- Ensure a secular, scientificand democratic educational system. No to any attempt of saffronisation of education.