Staff Reporter

Minister presented awards to talented students and schools

ALAPPUZHA: Education Minister M.A. Baby has said that the affluent in the State should not think that they can have their way at any cost. The enlightened society of the State will not allow it.

Inaugurating the Teachers' Day celebrations, organised jointly by Alappuzha district panchayat, Alappuzha municipality and the Education Department here on Tuesday, Mr. Baby said the gains achieved by the State in the education sector were the result of several revolutionary agitations, which were inspired by the teachings of reformation leaders of the State.

While in the past, only the upper castes were allowed to enjoy the benefits of education, at present there were people who believed that only the rich had the right to pursue education, Mr. Baby said.

He said reformation leaders of the State, including Chattambi Swamy, Sree Narayana Guru and Ayyankali, emphasised the right of the common man to pursue education. While Chattambi Swamy challenged the notion of the Brahmins that learned Shudras should be isolated, Sree Narayana Guru asked his followers to enlighten themselves with education, Mr. Baby said.

He said Ayyankali started schools for Scheduled Castes and formed a volunteer force to protect a teacher belonging to upper caste who came forward to teach untouchables.

Ayyankali's example showed that our reformation leaders did not hesitate to use force to gain the right of education for the depressed classes and the poor. Society had a responsibility to protect the right of the future generation to gain enlightenment through education, the Minister said.

Mr. Baby distributed awards to talented students and schools, which fared well in the SSLC examination.