==============[HelpAsia] ============== Sukla Sen wrote: Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 07:27:26 -0700 (PDT) COME TO BHOPAL AUGUST 4, 2002Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002View Source
Sukla Sen <suklasen@...> wrote:
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 07:27:26 -0700 (PDT)
COME TO BHOPAL
AUGUST 4, 2002 (SUNDAY)
EDUCATIONAL DHARNA AT BHOPAL
"PADHAI KE LIYE LADAI"
To voice our concern and to protest against the
insensitive and regressive actions of the government
we plan to hold a day-long dharna at Tin Shed (New
Market) in Bhopal on Sunday, August 4, 2002. The theme
of the dharna will be �Padhai ke liye ladai� (The
Fight for Education).
As you are aware, the Government of Madhya Pradesh,
acting in response to a decision taken by the
Hoshangabad District Planning Committee, has passed an
executive order closing down the Hoshangabad Science
Teaching Programme (HSTP) in Hoshangabad district.
Although the government says the programme continues
to be in operation in all the middle schools of Harda
district and selected school complexes in 13 other
districts, the situation is so confusing that local
officials in several of these districts have taken
unilateral action in closing down the programme in
We have conveyed to the government our anguish and
distress over the unethical and shoddy manner in which
it has taken this unprecedented step. We have also
registered our protest against this retrogressive move
that has cut the ground from under a pioneering effort
in science education that has been the focus of
attention the world over. We have pointed out that it
is not proper to judge the programme as a failure on
the basis of a sketchy assessment conducted at the
bureaucratic level and have urged that a more balanced
review be undertaken by an expert committee set up by
the State Advisory Board on Education. Several
independent assessments of the learning outcomes of
children fly in the face of the government findings
and show the programme in a favourable light. An
expert committee set up by the NCERT had, in fact,
recommended the expansion of the programme over the
entire state as far back as 1991.
The closure move indicates a shrinking of the space
for voluntary initiatives in the government education
system. We have constantly reiterated the need for
ensuring such space for civil society initiatives in
the public domain as a basis for democratic
functioning. We have also underlined the need for a
plurality of approaches in education and repeatedly
shown our willingness to work in collaboration with
the government to improve the educational system
through innovative curricular programmes.
However, the government has negated this long and
fruitful association by relegating us to the position
of a tenant who is now trying to take over the entire
house � the school education system. It has termed
this tenancy as illegitimate. Those are the words in
which the education department has referred to Eklavya
in its assessment report. Such language reflects the
narrow and feudalistic mindset of the government
vis-�-vis voluntary agencies.
We feel it is necessary to fight such feudal and
dictatorial attitudes to ensure that Eklavya and other
groups with a social conscience continue to enjoy the
freedom to contribute to the progress and development
of the nation. To voice our concern and to protest
against the insensitive and regressive actions of the
government we plan to hold a day-long dharna at Tin
Shed (New Market) in Bhopal on Sunday, August 4, 2002.
The theme of the dharna will be �Padhai ke liye ladai�
(The Fight for Education).
A similar but smaller dharna will be held at
Hoshangabad on August 3, 2002 (Saturday) from 4.00 to
We would urge you, as a concerned citizen who shares
the spirit of Eklavya�s work, to make it possible to
join us in this dharna at Bhopal (if possible in
Hoshangabad too) to register your protest against this
strangulation of the freedom to contribute to a
national effort by civil society groups. Do also send
a letter or e-mail (if you have not already done so)
of protest to the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh
urging a review of its hasty and ill-considered
decision to close the science teaching.
Do forward this email to others as we might not be
able to reach everybody. You can also take a printout
and use it as an invitation letter for circulation.
In solidarity, we remain
Kamal, Rex, Rashmi, Subbu, Rajesh and all others at
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