Maharashtra govt decision to shut 1,314 schools draws more flak

Sakal Times
Saturday, 27 January 2018

To lead protest march to Mumbai during State budget session

Pune: The Maharashtra Students Teachers Citizens Action Committee has condemned the State government's biased approach towards the educational opportunities for the backward classes of the society. 

The association has demanded that the decision to shut 1,314 schools be taken back and is soon planning to take a protest march to Mumbai during the Budget Session of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Speaking about the issue, Girish Fonde, State Co-ordinator of Maharashtra Students Teachers Citizens Action Committee, said, “All the government's policies in the past few days are unjust to the students from backward classes especially in the State's rural areas. Whether it is the decision to shut down more than a thousand schools across the State, or privatisation of education sector by allowing corporates to open schools in rural areas, all these decisions would cause a huge disadvantage to the rural students, especially girls. And if merit is the criteria that the State government insists on going by, we insist that we also want an education minister who has merit for the position.”

The association has demanded that the decision to shut down the schools needs to be revoked. Also, it has demanded action on Nand Kumar, Principal Secretary, Education, who in an interview allegedly spoke of shutting down around 80,000 schools in the State.

The association has intimated that after district-wise meetings and protests, there will be a protest march by students, teachers, parents and other citizens in Mumbai, during the Budget Session of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Organisations like Private Primary Teachers Association, Yuvak Kranti Dal (Yukrand), All India Students' Federation, Women's Federation, All India Youth Federation, Sambhaji Brigade, Democratic Youth Federation, etc, are part of the Maharashtra Students Teachers Citizens Action Committee.

Organisation's other demands
- Immediate recruitment for the vacant posts of 18,000 teachers and 5,000 professors in the State.
- Adhering to the report of Kothari Commission, the government should allocate 6 per cent of the funds in the budget towards education. Presently, the State government spends around 2.3 per cent, while the Central government spends 3.5 per cent on education.
- The Maharashtra Self-Financed Schools Act 2012 should be completely abolished and corporate companies shouldn't be permitted to open schools in the name of privatisation.  
 

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