According to reports received by Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, activists of Communist Party of India, along with several other organisations in Uttarakhand, have been in struggle since a long time against the extremely poor condition of government schools and to halt privatisation of education.
This struggle got a boost on 19th August 2015 when the Allahabad High Court ruled that the children of the nearly 40 lakh government employees and officers of Uttar Pradesh will have to compulsorily educate their children in government schools. This will include the officers of IAS, IPS and IFS, as well as the MLAs and MPs, along with everybody else who gets salary or honorarium from the government.
Those who are in struggle, point out to the double standard when it comes to the educational policy of our country. The children of high ranking government officials and rich go to private schools and the children of workers, peasants and poor people go to government schools and colleges. Time and again they have submitted petitions to draw government's attention to the appalling conditions of government educational institutions with respect to the state of the buildings, class-rooms, water availability and toilettes, and the acute shortage of teachers, etc., and have put forward their demands. Many times they have demonstrated on these demands. They allege that it is a deliberate policy of the government to disregard the government schools and colleges so that in the name of providing education, private colleges can get patronage. This policy ensures fat profits for the owners of private educational institutions and a robbery of the hard earned money of the poor families. They claim that unless it is made compulsory for the children of all government officials and politicians to join government schools and colleges, the conditions of the government schools cannot be improved.
Those who are opposing privatisation of education and who want drastic improvement in conditions of government schools have made the following demands of the Uttarakhand government:
From officers to peons, all those who draw their salary from the government must compulsorily send their children to government schools. This must be strictly implemented.
- Issue immediate administrative orders to prevent fee hikes and looting by private Hindi and English medium schools.
- Declare taking of donations by private Hindi and English medium schools a non-bailable offence.
- Ensure that parents are not forced to pay for the expenditure incurred by these schools in the name of various arrangements.
- The double standard in education must be immediately ended.
- The severe shortages of teachers of the Government Inter College in the Bharapur Bhori village of Hardwar district and the Government Primary School in Roshanabad, which is a matter of grave concern, must be urgently dealt with as also the provision of other necessary facilities.