The 16 th State-level conference of the United Teachers’ Federation (UTYF) held in Anantapur on Saturday gave an ultimatum of April 1 to the Andhra Pradesh government, saying that agitation would be intensified if the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) was not scrapped by then.
Teachers’ associations from various districts took out a rally before the conference began at the Arts College ground. They demanded that the CPS be scrapped and the old pension scheme (OPS) be introduced again.
MLC K. Lakshman Rao said that the State government should not be under the false impression that the PRC agitation was over. “The halt is only a comma and there is no full stop.”
The teacher’s associations also demanded that the State government must not tinker with the primary education system and retain all schools in the aided and government sector, accusing that attempts were being made to privatise them as part of the move to fulfil ‘a pre-condition for obtaining loan from the World Bank’.
MLC Vitapu Balasubramanyam said that the government’s efforts to implement the new education system under the guidance of the Centre would reduce the number of schools from 45,000 to 12,000 in Andhra Pradesh. He cited the example of Bangarupalem where 18 primary schools would get merged into one high school, alleging that such move was putting the future of students in the dark.
Progressive Democratic Front MLCs I. Venkateswara Rao, Shaik Sabji, and Y. Srinivas Reddy opined that the entire exercise was aimed at reducing the total spending on the education sector.
New Education Policy
All-India president of teachers’ association P. Ramakrishnan said that Centre’s New Education Policy was implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic, without board-based discussion. “The New Education Policy is leading to centralisation, privatisation and communalisation of the education sector. Kerala model is strengthening the education system. Around 90% of the students in that State are studying in in aided or government schools. Around 10 lakh children have migrated from private institutions to government schools,” he said.
Speaking on the Constitution and democratic values, professor K. Nageshwar said that the government was resorting to privatisation of all public sector institutions.