Dear Elders, friends, activists and well wishers,
Despite this massive protest either the chief minister or the education minister is not making any written statement about the withdrawal of circular/order on the issue. They are simply making oral statement saying “the govt is not closing but merging the school”. This is very diplomatic and misleading statement .When the issue order/circular to closedown naturally they have to issue order to withdraw the impugned order.
The oxford dictionary meaning of merger is “combining two into one”. It means the government is merging 3000 schools where the children enrolment is less than 10 with other schools whereas these 3000 are closed and children and teachers in these schools are aligned to other government schools. Thererefore, literally merger of 3000 school means closing down 3000 schools by reallocating children and teachers to other schools.
Therefore, the CM, EM and Education Department officials are misleading people on this issue. They have to make a clear statement that they are not going to merge or closedown any government schools in the state. Instead, the government will take all measures to reflect why children’s enrolment is declining in the government schools and discus the root causes for the present status and accordingly takes measures to save and strengthen public schools in the state and thereby strengthening public education. The state in turn should think in following lines.
- The government in principle should declare education as a social good in the state and no effort from any quarter either private agency or corporate sector will be allowed to make education as a saleable commodity or a venture for profit.
- Formulate a comprehensive education policy to ensure equitable quality education to every child in the state without any discrimination and disparity on the lines of Common School System based on neighbourhood school principle.
- State should take concrete measures to provide education in mother tongue from pre primary to class 12(higher secondary education) as a policy to begin with and later to extend it for university and higher education.
- State should take all measures to teach English as a language from class I (not medium of education) to develop proficiency and mastery in English language amongst all children whether rich or poor.
- The government should take very stringent measures to curb the commercialisation and privatisation of education in the state. Let us continue to fight together. Unity is our strength
Let us continue our fight with the support of all Elders, Friends, Activists, Academicians and Well Wishers,
On behalf all concerned
Centre for Child and the Law
National Law School of India University