Andhra Pradesh

Democracy and secularism in peril, says former judge

Activists of the School Teachers’ Federation of India taking out a rally in Vijayawada on Friday.

Activists of the School Teachers’ Federation of India taking out a rally in Vijayawada on Friday. | Photo Credit: G.N. Rao

Former judge of the Madras High Court K. Chandru on Friday said democracy and secularism were in peril, and teachers should shoulder the responsibility to protect them.

Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day national conference of the School Teachers’ Federation of India (STFI), Mr. Chandru said, to further their own selfish motives, the ruling parties were resorting to gross violation of the constitutional norms.

The former judge accused the Centre of completely ignoring the Kothari Commission’s recommendation that the responsibility of framing the new education policy be given to the States.

To impose its own agenda, the BJP Government had come out with an education policy that had many loopholes, he said.

Striking a discordant note on the National Education Policy-2020, speakers at the conference demanded its repeal, arguing that it would lead to centralisation and commercialisation of the education system, besides fomenting “communal trouble.”

Federation’s national president Abhijeet Mukherjee presided over the Open House that followed a rally from Nirmala Convent Road to the Benz Circle.

MLC K.S. Lakshmana Rao said the Centre had brought in the NEP without discussing it with the States, and the policies advocated in the NEP were against the democratic and secular spirit of the Constitution.

Federation’s national general secretary C.N. Bharati said the three-day conference would deliberate upon the existing ills in the education system. The education system of a country like India, where people spoke many language and followed different cultures, should promote the concept of unity in diversity.

Joint secretary of the federation Harikrishnan said the BJP Government at the Centre chanted slogans of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Digital India, ignoring the fact that more than two crore children were out of school. He said the Kerala Government had been appointing teachers periodically to ensure that the children did not suffer.

STFI vice-president M. Samyukta emphasised the need for implementation of the Right to Education Act in letter and spirit. She said efforts to do away with lessons on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh from school syllabus were unfortunate.

MLC Shaik Sabji slammed the State Government for “thrusting” the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) on them after doing away with the old pension scheme.

STFI secretary N. Aruna Kumari and leaders of the federation from various States participated.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 4:03:00 pm |