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Thousands Of Teachers Protest In Delhi Against Govt’s Education Policy

The teachers, who came from all over India, demanded 'a free and affordable education and dignified employment' and to reserve the 'rights of education for everyone'.

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Photo Credit : DU Beat,

Thousands of teachers took to the streets of Delhi to protest against what they say is the saffronisation of the education system by the Narendra Modi  government. The teachers, who came from all over India, demanded ‘a free and affordable education and dignified employment’ and to reserve the ‘rights of education for everyone’.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Delhi University professor Najma Rehmani said, “The government is slowly destroying the public education system, and giving preference to private education. The government schools in states are not getting money and aid from the Centre, and it’s a big jolt to federal structure of India, which is the current government destroying slowly.”

“The school syllabus is designed in a way to destroy the components of secularism. The government is giving preferences to Hindu ideology in the school books and prayers which is harming the idea of India at the end,” said protesting professor.

Rehmani also brought up the issue of vacant posts that were not being filled in universities and colleges.

“The government is planning to terminate various vacant posts in colleges and universities after the introduction of new department-wise roster,” she said.

Around 55 per cent teachers posts for reserved category candidates are lying vacant in various universities, which has not been filled by the institutions for a long time, said a report by all India Universities and Colleges SC, ST, OBC Teachers Association. Though the University Grants Commission has repeatedly asked colleges to fill vacant posts, it hasn’t been done yet.

According to the report, 5606 posts—for positions like assistant professors, associate professors and professors—are vacant in minority universities. There are 873 posts for Scheduled Castes, 493 for Scheduled Tribes, 786 for OBC and 264 PWD posts lying vacant. The total number of sanctioned posts are 17,092.

The highest number of vacant posts for teachers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors of all categories is 1246 posts, and are in the four central universities of Uttar Pradesh, the report said.

The professor also criticised the government’s stand on granting autonomy to colleges presently under Delhi University.

“It (autonomy) gives the college the right to decide course fees for various courses, and normally the course fees are much higher than formulated by the University. It’s only creating a gap between the economically weaker and rich sections in higher studies,” Rehmani said.

The protest march was organised by Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME) was supported by eminent figures including historian Romila Thapar, noted author Githa Hariharan, and Carnatic music vocalist T M Krishna.

“Students and teachers are constantly being hounded with charges of being ‘anti-national and seditious.’ Indeed, the purpose of education, and its process of questioning and debate is being sabotaged. Knowledge itself – the quest for knowledge and its growth – is the victim, along with the future of India which resides in the youth of the country,” a joint statement issued by Thapar, Hariharan and Krishna.

“The Indian Writers Forum supports the students’ demands and expresses solidarity with their march to save education, democracy, and India we want to live and learn in,” the statement said.

(Source: IndianExpress Education)



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