Alleging communalism of education, threat to campus democracy and privatisation of education, Left students’ unions will march to Parliament on February 18 against the government, a statement from the unions said on Wednesday. The unions, including SFI, AISF, AIDSO, PSU and AISM, have made a slew of demands from the government for the education sector.
Communalism has been another severe threat to the secular fabric of education system. Syllabuses have been changed drastically, under the BJP governments in various states, which replaced science and history with myths and puranas. Historical facts are distorted and the Sangh parivar agents are appointed as the head of the different institutions and universities, they alleged in the combined statement.
Their demands include the establishment of a nationwide fully state-funded and free common education system from kindergarten to post-graduation, increased government spending on education, protection of federal character of education, release of money for all pending scholarships immediately and establishment of more fellowships for research scholars from deprived backgrounds.
The budgets of most of the educational institutions in the country have been reduced continuously. We are protesting against stoppage of scholarships in IITs and other institutions, the shutting of hostels of students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and the privatisation of education from KG to PG, said Mayuk Biswas of SFI, the CPI’s students union, at a press meet.
The statement alleged that campus democracy has been attacked heavily and a sense of fear and surveillance instilled in educational institutions, instead of an atmosphere of free speech, debate and discussion. There will be an intensive campaign throughout the country highlighting the issues of education as part of this Delhi Chalo call by the Left students’ organisations, the statement said.