Central Executive Committee of Students’ Federation of India will be organising a national rally on 26ht February, 2015 at parliament against commercialisation and Communalisation of education in which thousands of the students from different states of the nation will participate.
In the education sector BJP government is pursuing the same agenda of commercialisation. But more dangerously central government is also taking agenda of communalisation of education very seriously.
MHRD has issued a notice to universities to strengthen semester system and to implement ‘Choice Based Credit System’. This CBCS is nothing but the blue print of the provisions of FYUP to be completed in three years. This reflects the commitment of this government to the same agenda and withdrawal of FYUP only a political stunt. The CBCS is only a cafeteria-approach based system which is designed facilitates “seamless student-mobility” between courses and universities. It is identical in its course structure to the FYUP (repeat pattern of Foundation, Core and Elective Courses), except the fourth year. Basically this system is designed on the basis of American system which runs on students’ loan and on the shoulders of add-on professors (contractual). This is only to woo and facilitate the foreign institution in India. BJP government is carrying forward the problematic campaign ‘RUSA’. There is much discussion on the provisions of RUSA. But the experience of its implementation has proved our concerns. In the states where it is fully implemented like Himachal Pradesh and Assam, there a colossal discontentment is there in student and teaching faculty. Whole of the education process right from class room teaching to evaluation of examination is in pathetic condition
Indian education system is already over commercialised, which is having adverse impact on the reach of students from poor and middle class. Presently contrary to the general belief our education system is running by the private players whose motive is only to cater degrees and earn profits. Even after the implementation of Right to Education through long struggles the pace of privatisation is on increase. This private education is not only commercial but also unequal as private schools never follows the norms of social justice. This privatisation is on continuous rise. In the year 2005 there were 17% private school in rural India. This percentage rouse up to 27% in 2013 and this number has reached to 30.8% in 2014. Percentage of girls and boys clearly conveys the impact of privatisation of education on girls. In 2014, in the age group 7-10 years, 35.6% of boys are enrolled in private schools as compared with 27.7% of girls. For the age group of 11-14 years, 33.5% of boys are in private schools as compared to 25.9% of girls.
The pace of privatisation is more rapid in the area of higher studies. More than half of the students’ enrolled in higher education today are under private educational institutions. 66% of students in general education and 75-80% in technical education are enrolled in private, self-financing institutions. Commercialization of education has already led to huge distortions in the educational landscape, both social as well as spatial. Education priorities cannot be left to vagaries of market forces. Commercialization entails that quality education becomes synonymous with affordability. The goals of equity and inclusion, the fundamental pillars of policy making in any democracy, might be the first casualties if unbridled profit making is instituted as a norm for the educational institutions in the private sector.
Central government is not ready to increase the budgetary allocation on education which was quite evident in the first budget of this government. Even in the revised budget estimates for year 14-15 government has reduced the funds on higher education to the extent of Rs. 3900 crore.
If we analyse the developments of last six months intension of RSS/BJP becomes clear. Much has been discussed about the political commitment of BJP to this agenda of communalisation of education and acceptance by BJP leaders in open and even in parliament. Leaders of the BJP are on record announcing their intention to change the textbooks and syllabus. In the last NDA government these kinds of efforts were also there. But present BJP government is much more aggressive and staunch. Because presently Prime Minister is heading the comparing and teaching new science not only to general public but also to the topmost doctors and scientists of India.
This is the burning situation of Indian education system which is n more deteriorating in the BJP regime. Being a responsible students’ organisation it’s our responsible to take the challenge and organise students against these policies to wage a strong struggle. Keeping this in mind SFI has launched a nationwide struggle against the commercialisation and Communalisation of education. Taking this forward this march will be organised.
Dr. V. Sivadasan
Ritabrata Banerjee, MP