The teachers say they will launch agitation if the government is going ahead with the move to introduce autonomous colleges in the State.

All Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA) has called upon the Higher Education Council not to make recommendation for the introduction of autonomous colleges in the State.

Neoliberal policies

According to K. P. Sukumaran Nair, president and K. Sreevatlsan, general secretary, the introduction of autonomous colleges would make higher education out of reach for the deserving students from the low income groups.

“The reforms, being implemented as part of the neoliberal policy initiatives, would result in the commercialisation of education, and in the long run turn the aided and government colleges into self financing colleges as the concerned managements would have the financial autonomy”, they said.

In turn, this would also impact the service security of the faculty and the present system of admission on the basis of merit and reservation norms, they added.

‘Already proven’

Presently, 427 colleges spread over 80 universities in 19 States enjoy autonomous status.

The experience from these colleges showed that the claims being made by the champions of autonomous colleges were meaningless, they said. Religious and caste considerations, and financial irregularities play a major part in the appointment of faculty in the aided colleges.

Extending autonomy to such institutions would also lead to further deterioration of the system, they added.

Consultations held

The association leaders said they have taken up the matter after consultations on the report of the Committee headed by eminent legal educationist N.R. Madhava Menon , constituted by the Kerala State Higher Education Council to recommend ways to grant autonomy to colleges in Kerala.

“If the authorities went ahead with the move to introduce autonomous colleges, the association would join hands with like minded organisations and the civil society to launch a struggle”, the leaders of the association said.