The educational reforms brought in by the former Chief Minister R. Sankar have played a crucial role in the modernisation of Kerala's education sector, Speaker G. Karthikeyan said here on Monday.

He was inaugurating the 104 birth anniversary celebrations of Sankar organised by the R. Sankar Foundation of Kerala.

Mr. Karthikeyan said Sankar, a strong-willed politician and social reformer, had the courage of conviction to withstand any opposition. By creating more educational facilities, he laid the foundation for new avenues for higher education in the State, paving the way for the socially backward classes to come into the mainstream by utilising the opportunities for higher education.

His principles

Sree Narayana Guru, social reformer exhorted people to get enlightened through education and to emerge stronger through the strength of unity. Sankar believed in it and followed that principle in its letter and spirit, Mr. Karthikeyan added.

He recollected how when, as a student leader, he had been expelled from Sree Narayana College, Chempazhanthy, Sankar refused to intervene, though he was at that time, the head of the SN Trust educational institutions and close to him.

He said it was only right that a memorial be built in the name of Sankar, and hoped that the government would expedite the work.

T. Saratchandra Prasad, president of the foundation, and C. Surendran, general secretary, were present.