Privatisation of higher education will create further inequality in society as it will deny education to the oppressed sections, said CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan here on Tuesday.

Addressing a convention on ‘Right to Education through Common School System – Resisting State's Abdication and Market Assault,' he said when only 9 to 11 per cent of students had access to higher education, privatisation would further aggravate the situation.

Allowing foreign universities in India would prove detrimental to the higher education, as they would not be accessible to students of Backward Classes, Dalits and Muslims.

Pointing out how privatisation was resisting positive changes in the field of education, as exemplified by the State government's failure to implement good aspects of the recommendations of Muthukumaran Committee report, he said social control over private schools had become impossible. “Instead the private institutions are controlling the government.”

Former MP and senior CPI (M) leader Subashini Ali said an egalitarian society and education in the true sense of the term would be possible only “if we fight against what the government was doing in the field of education and the philosophy of leaving everything to the market.”

Explaining that the nature of education had changed in the age of globalisation, she said, “Providing education now means providing it for a profit and the students are also accepting education as a way to make money.”

School education

Coming down on the view that the market would decide everything for the people, Ms. Subashini Ali said investment of school funds and pension funds for teachers in the market had plunged the school system into a deep crisis in the US.

Educationist Anil Sadagopal rejected the argument that privatisation of multiple textbooks would bring in diverse approaches in education, saying diverse approaches would be possible only in a public-funded common school system, based on neighbourhood schools.

The schools, he said, should be managed in a decentralised and participative mode and founded on equality, flexibility and critical thought.