Central Executive Committee of SFI calls upon all its units to make the sept. 2nd nationwide education bandh declared along with four other left student organizations a grand success. The neoliberal policies have worsened the life of the people of all sectors over the years. The experiences of the students are also not different under the era of neoliberal attacks launched by the governments one after another. The policy thrust of centralization, commercialization and privatization has been taken forward by all the governments to serve its ruling class interest since the early 1990s ever since the neoliberal assault on education was launched. The attacks at all levels and in different spheres of education have intensified further in the one year of Modi regime.
The Modi government’s sinister agenda of saffronisation makes this a toxic combination and therfore more lethal. While fighting the globalization policies which made education a commodity the students has to resist the aggressive communalization of education too. The public funding on education from primary level to higher education has been cut down year after year. The Modi government has slashed budgetary allocations for education by 16.5 per cent. Successive governments have underfunded education, and public funding has stagnated at just 3 per cent of GDP.
Despite of zero initiative to strengthen the public education the government is showing more enthusiasm to rob whatever fewer facilities and supporting system left before the students. The fund for ICDS, Sarva Shiksha Abhian, Mid day meal scheme, Different scholarships ect had been decreased hugely.
A huge majority of our schools are lagging even the basic facilities. The high number of children who are not being able to enroll in schools and the increasing number of drop outs in primary and secondary level itself should not be seen separately. School texts have been targeted to implement the communal propaganda and all the educational and cultural institutions are being filled with the servile ideological henchman of Sangh Parivar. Even the platforms of higher academic discussions, like Indian history congress and science congress are being used to replace history with mythology and scraping rationality, authenticity and scientific temper.
The attack on campus democracy is another threat which has to be fought and defeated. There is no mechanism yet to protect the democratic rights of the students, be it holding students union elections or building an atmosphere of democratic discussions and debates. Higher education is not accessible to a large chunk of students as it is largely privatised and discriminative. Instead of showing any sign to address this issues NDA government is introducing or pushing forward the most regressive and destructive reforms like CBCS, RUSA and Central University bill. The public education, secular nature and the federal structure are under severe threat. It is in this context that when workers of this country is Striking SFI along with AISF, AIDSO, AISB and PDSU jointly gives a call for national education bandh.
The workers of this country are also striking on September 2 against the neo-liberal offensive of the ruling classes. Sfi consider the issues of toiling masses of this country closely linked to the life of future generation, students in particular. So, it is crucial that people from all spheres, students-teachers-workers-youth-peasants etc to come together to fight the larger threat, which is the policies which concentrates wealth and facilities to a minority and put the life of the rest in doldrums.
We request all progressive, democratic and secular forces to come together to defeat the neo-liberal and communal onslaught on education. SFI Central Executive Committee appeal to all students irrespective of affiliations to make the call for countrywide education bandh against the anti-student, anti-people policies of Govt a massive success.
Dr. V Sivadasan, President Ritabrata Banerjee MP, General Secretary