Demands probe by an independent agency
MALAPPURAM: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has alleged grave irregularities in the production of school textbooks in the State.
Inaugurating the State conference of the Kerala Primary and Secondary Teachers' Union (KPSTU) here on Thursday, Mr. Chennithala said the teachers' association owing allegiance to the ruling party was responsible for corrupting the textbook printing system in the State.
He demanded that an independent agency conduct an investigation into the allegations of corruption, adding that he was raising the charges with conviction and a sense of responsibility.
He said the Kerala School Teachers' Association (KSTA), the body of teachers owing allegiance to the Left, had no right to interfere in the production of textbooks, the funds for which were being given by the Union government.
Mr. Chennithala alleged that huge profits were being made by the organisation by giving the printing contract to some private presses. The books were being printed on low-quality paper.
He said Education Minister M.A. Baby was backing the hidden agenda for the propagation of the KSTA and the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad.
According to him, a deliberate attempt was being made to fill the textbooks with communist ideals. “When the BJP tried to saffronise the textbooks, the Marxists are now working hard to fill the books with their ideology,” he said, warning that it would be resisted at any cost.
Mr. Chennithala accused Mr. Baby of squandering his time for cultural activities without caring for the education sector.
Mr. Chennithala said the last four years had wreaked havoc on the State's education sector. “And the students don't feel like studying now because of the lopsided policies of the Education Minister,” he said.
He said it would not be a surprise if 100 per cent pass was recorded in the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations this year. “Students are coming out of schools after SSLC without knowing even how to read a sentence,” he said.
Mr. Chennithala said the State was being ruled by those who failed to judge the importance being given by the Union government to education. However, he said the Congress would support the agitation of teachers for regularisation of their posts.
The KPSTU was formed by the merger of the Kerala Aided Private Teachers Union and the Private School Teachers Association.
D.A. Hariharan, president of the KPSTU, presided over the conference. K.N.A. Khader, Indian Union Muslim League leader; E. Mohammed Kunhi, District Congress Committee president; and V.V. Prakash, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee secretary, were among those who addressed the inaugural session.