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26th AISF national conference begins

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EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY: Student activists from Assam taking part in the procession to mark the beginning of the national conference of the AISF in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY: Student activists from Assam taking part in the procession to mark the beginning of the national conference of the AISF in Chennai on Tuesday. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Special Correspondent

Rally held to protest against commercialisation of education

CHENNAI: They came from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal and different parts of Tamil Nadu. And they marched along Anna Salai and Wallajah Road on Tuesday in traditional costumes, raising slogans in different languages.

But the young girls and boys, who participated in the procession to mark the beginning of the 26th national conference of the All-India Students Federation (AISF), had a common mission: oppose "all attempts to commercialise or communalise education."

The activists, carrying AISF flags and portraits of Che Guevara and freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, P. Jeevanantham and K. Baladhandayutham, raised slogans demanding sincere implementation of the reservation system in education. They called for effective measures to stop collection of capitation fee in schools and colleges.

Other demands

Streamlining of the functioning of self-financing colleges, implementation of compulsory education up to Standard XII, allocation of adequate funds by the State and Centre for education and filling vacancies of teachers were their other demands.

An AISF spokesman said the delegate session of the meet, commencing on Wednesday, would go on till Friday. Apart from chalking out their future course of action, the AISF functionaries would interact with leaders of other students' unions on issues confronting students and teachers, particularly the Centre's decision to allow foreign direct investment in education.

Eminent educationists would address the meet. It would call for adequate attention to promoting education among women and tribal people, he said, adding that priority should be given to job-oriented education.

AISF president Rama Krishna Panda, general secretary Vijayendra Kesri, and State secretary R. Thirumalai led the procession.

Later, a public meeting was held at Triplicane which was addressed by the AISF leaders and Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan.

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