LIFE

Hitting hard

Always expect fireworks when Sukumar Azhikode, critic, speaks. He drifts occasionally from the main topic but generally takes care not to deviate from the core issue. Kochi city has borne witness to some inspiring speeches by him over time. His speech at the Maharaja's College auditorium on Monday was loaded with power. The occasion was the seminar on higher education and book release organised by the Kerala Vidyabhyasa Samithi. He criticised the Government for its decision to withdraw from funding higher education. Azhikode also lamented the rapid commercialisation of the sector.

"How can the poor afford to pay such huge fees in professional colleges,'' he asked referring to the collection of lakhs of rupees as capitation fees by private managements from students.

"Education should not be considered as a commodity which is kept for sale. By imparting education to the present generation, we are actually laying the foundation for the country's future,'' he said. Azhikode also expressed the hope that Ministers, especially those in charge of Education, will take efforts to read books to widen their perspective on education.

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