Teachers, students and parents have opened a nationwide joint front to fight against the Modi government's policies and decisions taken in the education sector.
As many as 10 pan-India teachers, students and parents bodies have come together to organise various activities across the country to highlight the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development's (HRD) “failure” in addressing the “core issues” pertaining to the education sector.
This comes amid a charged political atmosphere in the country ahead of the Assembly polls in five states this year and the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
To start with, the joint forum for movement on education (JFME), comprising the Federation of Central University Teachers' Association (FEDCUTA), All-India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) and various students' and parents' associations, are scheduled to hold a national convention here on October 29.
“Save Campus, Save Education, Save Nation,' is the theme of the national convention, which will conclude with a passage of a charter of demands and resolution “to steer a larger struggle for a secular, democratic, scientific and inclusive public-funded education system in the country.”
The joint forum also include the All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations (AIFUCTO), School Teachers’ Federation of India (STFI), All India Federation of Elementary Teachers' Organisations (AIFETO), All India Secondary Teachers Federation (AISTF), All India Federation of Retired University and College Teachers' Organisations (AIFRUCTO) and All India Save Education Committee (AISEC).
“A joint forum has been formed to steer a larger struggle against the (Modi) government's persistent attack on educational institutions, enforcement of draconian rules and regulations at universities and colleges, arbitrary changes in the curriculum and syllabus for schools to fulfill the agenda of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh),” AIFUCTO general secretary Arun Kumar told DH.
In the name of reform, the Union government is making “blatant attempts” “to throttle” the autonomy of higher education through excessive centralization and freedom of intellectual discourse on campuses, leaving no other choice before the teachers, students and parents to rise and fight against them “in a concerted manner,” he added.
“There is an urgent necessity for an alternative pro-people education policy. This alternative policy should aim at safeguarding our constitutional values, strengthen the public-funded education system, allow more intellectual freedom and sensitively nurture our secular, multicultural ethos,” FEDCUTA president Rajib Ray said.