From L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: More than three thousand persons will reach Bhopal on December 4, 2014. They will be part of a “Nation-wide Yatra”, which has commenced from November 2. These yatras have started from states in the north-east, south, east, west and north parts of the country. After passing through various states, they will reach Bhopal on December 4 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of gas leakage from the Union Carbide factory.
These ‘Yatras’ have been launched by the ‘All India Forum for Right to Education’.
The yatras will highlight the commercialisation and communalisation of education and plead for establishment of a fully state-funded and entirely free Common Education System from “KG to PG” in order to achieve the Constitutional goal of building a democratic, secular, socialist, just, egalitarian and humane society.
The All India Shiksha Sangharsh Yatra is being taken out to oppose the prevailing discriminatory, multi-layered school system and wants its replacement with a Common School System, based on Neighbourhood School concept and governed in democratic, decentralised and participative mode.
It is against English as medium of education in all educational institutions and wants that the mother tongue, in a multi-lingual context, should be the medium of education in all private and government schools and colleges. The mother tongue as medium of education is globally acknowledged as the most potent medium for acquiring knowledge and learning other languages, including English. Such a common language policy in education and other sectors of national life (e.g. legislative, executive, judiciary, trade and business, Information Technology and knowledge production), along with a Common Education System from ‘KG to PG’, is one of the crucial pre-conditions for reversing the prevailing developmental policies that reinforce the dominance of the upper classes and upper castes and exclude the majority of dalits, tribals, OBCs, religious and linguistic minorities and the disabled, especially women in each of these sections of society, from equitable economic opportunities and social development.
The forum also demands abolition of all forms of child labour and provision of residential schools for all children for holistic childhood care and security, education and development. It shall campaign for unconditional free and equal Fundamental Right to Education up to the age of 18 years (i.e. until Class XII) and equal opportunities in higher education in all areas of knowledge in order to meet the aspirations of the youth belonging to various social strata and development needs of a democratic, egalitarian, just and humane society.
It is also opposed to the WTO agenda in higher education and establishment of Foreign Universities and committed for India’s sovereignty in policy making in education and knowledge creation at all stages of education.
It is opposed to commercialisation of education, including all forms of PPP and FDI and is committed to equality, social justice and affirmative action for the disadvantaged groups viz., SCs, STs, OBCs, the disabled and religious and linguistic minorities, with special focus on women in each of these sections, and all other discriminated groups and communities such as the nomads, denotified tribes and transgenders.
Communalisation of the education, which violates the Constitutional Right to diversity in languages, cultures and religions, is also on the agenda of the campaign. It is committed to appreciation of plurality and democratisation of all religious, linguistic and cultural communities in order to eradicate inequalities based on class, caste, gender, languages, locale and disability, physical or mental. It is against irrational, sectarian, divisive, majoritarian and inhuman propaganda by rightwing fundamentalist groups, especially the Sangh Parivar and its related organisations and campaign with commitment for inculcating scientific, secular and democratic outlook in society as envisioned in the Constitution.
The forum also opposes distortion of the very purpose of education to serve the needs of the global capital for skilled and slavish workforce and instead campaign with commitment for an education system that aims at the enlightenment of the individual for humane development of the society.
The member-organisations of the forum in different states/UTs have taken initiative to constitute State-level Convening Committees with like-minded organisations/groups/individuals to organise yatra in their respective states/UTs with the purpose of broadening and deepening the social base of education movement. They shall also strive to form, wherever required and feasible, District-level Convening Committees and Block-level Convening Committees with the same purpose.
The yatras will submit memorandum to each District Collector/magistrate in all districts as a part of the Yatra viz., (a) District-level Memorandum with local demands prepared by the respective DLCC; (b) State-level Memorandum with state-level demands addressed to the CM prepared by the respective SLCC; and (c) All India Memorandum with all-India demands prepared by AISC. All the demands raised at the state and district level shall be in conformity with forum’s ideological and political stand.
The main objective of the yatra is to apprise the common man about the dangers of the present education system which is totally against the interest of the country. (IPA Service)