An educational framework emphasising the immediate need to provide quality education to the poor children, youth of rural areas and the deprived sections of the urban was the focus during a seminar held at Gandhi Museum here by Student's Democratic Movement recently.

Attended by teachers, university professors, students and parents, the seminar covered the important aspects of Right to Education Bill, National Council for Higher Education and Research and Foreign Universities Bill.

Efforts like the abolition of examinations by the State such as the entrance examination for admission to professional courses, privatisation of education, the role of State in empowering Government Educational Institutions with special reference of schools, quality of teaching staff, autonomy of educational institutions, mother tongue as a medium of instruction, transparency in administration, approaches to reservation policy and its implementation were the topics that were discussed.

P.Renga Ramanujam, Director, STRIDE Indira Gandhi National Open University, dealt with the question of mother tongue as the medium of instruction. He said people, who talk of introducing Tamil at all levels of teaching, should practically do something for the development of Tamil in such a way that it could be used for teaching all disciplines. “We need expert groups whom along with adequate support from the State can do wonders,” he said.

James Joseph, film producer and media professional from Kerala, said that case studies from Kerala on schools had shown that wherever there were basic amenities and access to modern methods of learning, poor children had fared better in their studies.

A.Anandan of Student's Democratic Movement contended that the moral responsibility and social commitment of teachers to the cause of education should be more than the question of money.

He said that students and teachers should take up issues of providing quality education to the poor since it had become an accessible space for the elites.

Many participants felt that there had been a fall in the standard of education and suggested that wider use of information and communication technologies should be encouraged and made available for all.

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