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6832Re: [arkitectindia] Fwd: [jkdnirman] New year gift for karnatka children ! [2 Attachments]

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  • Sukla Sen
    Dec 31, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      The decision of the Karnataka government in fact flies in the face of both the letter and spirit of the Central Act: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
      The said Act envisages more schools, not less. (May ref. Cl. 6, Chapter III.)

      The reprehensible move must be stoutly countered.
      The issue of deceasing number of students must, however, be seriously looked into and remedial measures taken.


      2010/1/1 Dr.V.N. Sharma <vnsh44@...>
      [Attachment(s) from Dr.V.N. Sharma included below]

      I understand that the Attachments with the last post could not be attached. This has been done now. The Article and the discussion is extremely important as the Govt policy -an offshoot of the infamous Right To Education Act - is simply to debar about 90% children from going to School. What has happened in Karnataka will be followed by all the States one by one under the patronage of the Neo-liberal Agenda following Govt of India and the States which stand to make Education a profit making business and debar people from getting such an essential component of Human life. Those of you who find our Delhi Press Release and basics of Dr Sadgopal's Article acceptable may participate in a "March to Parliament in Delhi on 24th Feb 2010". Let me know if you have any queries.

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Dr.V.N. Sharma <vnsh44@...>
      Date: 2009/12/31
      Subject: Fwd: [jkdnirman] New year gift for karnatka children !

      [Attachment(s) from Anil Sadgopal included below]

      30 December 2009

      (Read this to find out what 2010 offers for India's children, the ten-day tamasha of Commonwealth Games costing almost 1.5 lakh crore to the public exchequer notwithstanding)


      Dear Niranjan and SDMCC Forum-Karnataka colleagues,


      The news of Karnataka Government’s decision of closing down around 500 government primary schools on the eve of the new year 2010 is despicable, to say the least. The state government’s claim of the number of children decreasing in government schools is a consequence of a deliberate policy adopted years ago whose objective is to deteriorate the quality of government schools so that the parents of even the poor start withdrawing their children and start looking around for low-fee charging inferior private schools. This policy was first tested in 1999 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh when the state government closed down 30 government schools on the same flimsy grounds as the Karnataka government is now offering ten years later. The Indore Collector promptly converted the 30 government schools in shopping malls and police stations, ignoring the public protest. The same policy was later adopted in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Chennai.

      Let me cite the following introductory statement from my paper entitled, “Dilution, Distortion and Diversion: A Post-Jomtien Reflection on Education Policy”, published in ‘The Crisis of Elementary Education in India’ (Ed. Ravi Kumar), SAGE Publications, New Delhi, 2006, pp. 92-136 (an updated version of a paper presented at a Delhi seminar in October 2004):

      “The following news item appeared on International Literacy Day, 2004.


      “Facing a shortage of students, the Directorate of Education has decided to close down 53 government schools, many of which are in old Delhi. This is in addition to (the) 55 schools already closed . . . . . We have seen a steady decline in enrollment in government schools.”

      - Hindustan Times, 8th September 2004


      Instead of showing concern and taking steps to improve the functioning of the government school system, the authorities seemed to be celebrating. They declared,


      “The closure of the schools helps the Directorate in two ways. Firstly, the teachers can be posted in schools having few teachers. Secondly, there is saving on annual expenditure of maintenance and repairs.”

      - Hindustan Times, 8th September 2004


      The government schools in Delhi have almost 70% of the school-going children of the metropolis. Close all of them and the Directorate will be helped maximally. It will save its entire annual expenditure!


      This is not the first time that India has witnessed such a phenomenon. In 1999-2000, 30 government schools in the city of Indore were closed down and their campuses, located on prime lands in the heart of the city, were either converted into police stations or handed over to private interests for developing commercial complexes. The District Collector, in his report to the Chief Minister, proudly called it a process of ‘rationalisation’! No one cared to know as to where had all the children gone. All of them had joined the rapidly mushrooming low-fee charging school shops in the neighbourhood of the erstwhile government schools.


      Almost at the same time, the Ahmedabad city corporation closed down one of its primary schools and handed over its campus along with the buildings to a French-sponsored Society to provide education to the well-off sections of society on a ‘French Pattern’! The poor people in the neighbourhood protested but no one cared.  


      Few would believe that the above events were not random happenings taking place due to some local aberrations or some inefficient education officers. These represented the outcome of a well-designed deliberate policy of allowing the government school system to gradually deteriorate until it is replaced by the fee-charging private schools. This is precisely what the global market forces, led by powerful international financial institutions and funding agencies, have been working for. This paper is aimed at analyzing and exposing this complex phenomenon so that it can be resisted by the people whose children are being denied education.”


      The rest of the paper (attached herewith) documents the neo-liberal agenda in education which was pursued by the Indian State at the behest of the global capital with a view to create space for privatized and commercialized education in India. The people of Karnataka have now fallen prey to this neo-liberal assault.


      On behalf of the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE), I fully endorse the call given by the SDMCC Forum-Karnataka to resist the state government’s decision and launch a movement to “save government schools and save the learning space for marginalised Children”. This can only be done by converting the entire school system into a Common School System wherein all schools will be genuine neighbourhood schools so that the children of all sections of society will study and socialize together as per law, irrespective of their class, caste, religion, language, locale or disabilities, physical or otherwise. We should be clear in our minds that this matter is not a local issue of Karnataka but it is part of an all-India phenomenon in which the Central Government is equally involved. This is amply documented in my attached paper.


      The Karnataka state government decision exposes the following:

      1.      The Central Government and the various state governments are pursuing a deliberate neo-liberal policy to deteriorate the quality of government schools, colleges and universities in order to expedite privatization and commercialization.

      2.      The so-called ‘Right to Education Act, 2009’ is a farce as its provision of 25% reservation in private aided and unaided schools for “children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood” not only legitimizes privatization but also, through its policy of reimbursement to such schools, maintains a multi-layered school system based on discrimination and pursues the neo-liberal agenda of voucher schools and public-private partnership (PPP).

      3.      The existence of private unaided schools (and colleges and universities as well) promotes inequality and discrimination in violation of the Articles 14 and 15 (1) of the Constitution and also provides space for backdoor transfer of public resources to the corporate and NGO sector (as evident in central government’s assistance to the high profile private Sanskriti School in Delhi and rapidly expanding schemes all over the country to promote private schools through PPP, low-interest loans and exemption of Income Tax to the schools as well as the parents).

      4.      The government has already offered higher education for negotiation at GATS and this would soon become a commitment if the offer is not withdrawn before the next round of negotiations. The next to be offered at the GATS would be secondary education and possibly, pre-primary education. All this is designed to open the doors of Indian education for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for unregulated profiteering. A favourable ground for this unabashed profiteering is already being prepared by inviting foreign universities by exempting them from the regulatory and monitoring-related provisions of the proposed Foreign Education Providers Bill.

      5.      All this is designed at promoting abdication by the Indian State of its Constitutional obligation to provide education of equitable quality to all children and youth at all stages of education from kindergarten to higher and professional education.


      This decision to commoditize Indian education will make education so expensive that even the middle class will find it beyond their means to pay for it. Already, we see the growing phenomenon of people selling their agricultural lands in order to pay for their children’s education. Or else they are forced to indulge in corrupt and other illegal practices to make quick money for sending their children to private schools and colleges.


      In view of the above, the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE) decided at its last national consultation held at the Delhi University campus on 7-8 November 2009 to resist the entire aforesaid neo-liberal agenda and build a nation-wide movement for establishing a fully public-funded common education system “from KG to PG” which will guarantee free education of equitable quality to all sections of Indian society without any discrimination whatsoever. For a detailed perspective and the full set of the people's assertions, see the second attachment (i.e. AIF-RTE Press Release dated 9th November 2009).


      It is with the purpose of building a nation-wide movement for the aforesaid transformation of India’s education system that the AIF-RTE is organizing a Rally to the Parliament on 24th February 2010.


      We urge upon SDMCC Forum-Karnataka to join the Parliament Rally in Delhi on 24th February 2010 in full strength to let both the central government and the Karnataka state government know that the people will not accept their planned sell-out of India’s public-funded educational institutions and will struggle for rejuvenation of the education system. The reconstruction of the education system (not patchwork schemes such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) was considered necessary to meet the national aspirations which were shaped during the freedom struggle against British imperialism and is reflected in India’s Constitution.


      In the meantime, please let us know your schedule of building up the struggle in Karnataka. The AIF-RTE will join hands with you by sending its delegations.


      You are not alone in Karnataka.


      Your struggle is part of our nation-wide struggle to save India's education from a sell-out to the global market. 


      It is indeed a struggle to protect India's sovereignty!






      Anil Sadgopal

      Member, Presidium

      All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE)


      E-8/29, Sahkar Nagar

      Bhopal 462 039, M.P.

      Tel.: (0755) 2560438

      Mo.: 09425600637  

      Email: anilsadgopal@...


      From: niranjan Aradhya <aradhyaniranjan@...>
      To: Ngo-Udayakumar <makkalamane@...>; Ngo-B T Venkatesh reach law <reachlaw@...>; Ng0-Karuna Trust <karunalp@...>; Ngo-Fr.kuriakose <frkuriakose@...>; network -cacl-Karnataka <caclkarnataka@...>; Ngo-Abhivrudhi <abhigubbi1@...>; Ngo-apsa bangalore <apsabangalore@...>; Ngo-Mathew philip Sichrem Philip <mathews.ashok@...>; Ngo-Spandana -Susheela <spandana_bgm@...>; Ngo-Vikasana-mandya <vikasanaird@...>; Ngo-paraspara <pet.hampi@...>; Ngo-Prachodana <prachodana@...>; Ngo-valored <valored@...>; NGO -SVKT <samajavikasakendra@...>; Ngo-Jeevika <jeevika90@...>; network-BGVS-Karnataka <bgvskarnataka@...>; NGO-Bangalore forum <bangalorengoforum@...>; NGO-Bheema <beema2002@...>; AAI-K-Nandini <nandini.k@...>; Ngo-Sahayog <sahayog_bdr@...>; Network-chegareddy <chegareddy@...>; Ngo-Samagra Grameena Ashrama <samgraash@...>; Ngo-Dream school foundation <info@...>; Ngo-MGRDSCT <kcbmgrdsct@...>
      Sent: Wed, 30 December, 2009 1:36:27 PM
      Subject: New year gift for karnatka children !

      Dear All,


      Thanks for the Karnataka State government for its wonderful gift for the children of Karnataka in general and marginalised children in particular on the eve New Year to close down around 500 government schools (see page 4 of the Hindu dated 29.12.2009)


      In fact this is what exactly I have been talking since 2000; the conspiracy of the state to make its own schools defunct and close them down on the pretext of feasibility to accelerate the agenda of privatisation.


      Can we ask these questions to state?


      There are some police stations where hardly people go there to file complaints. Is the government closing down the police stations in the pretext of no complaints or crime?


      Except at the time of serious war the military of the state is always a burden because they have no other work to do; is the state reducing the number of people and platoons in the pretext of no war  


      I think we need to launch, a state-wide movement against this arbitrary decision of the state. The theme for state-wide campaign would be “save government schools and save the learning space for marginalised Children”


      In this context ,after discussing with SDMC coordination forum members ,the SDMCCF issued the following statement and the same has been appeared in the Hindu on 30th December 2009. Following is the text of the press note (highlighted in blue) 



      The Karnataka State School Development and Monitoring Committee Coordination Forum (SDMCCF) strongly oppose the decision of the State Government to close down nearly 500 government primary schools on the grounds of feasibility citing the less number of children. The Decision is unscientific and arbitrary.


      The government has made a hasty decision in this regard without looking into the reasons for the depletion of children in government schools. It is a clear indication that the state is making a deliberate attempt to make its own government school defunct and pave the way for privatization in the pretext of less number of children. We suspect a strong private lobby in this regard.  


      We strongly urge the state to commission a study to make an in-depth research by involving parents, teachers and children for this sorry state of affairs in the state run government schools


      Till then we urge the state to keep its decision of closure in abeyance.



      Facilitator ,  SDMCC Forum-Karnataka



      In this backdrop, I request each one of you to issue a press statements in this regard in your respective blocks and districts. Let us plan statewide Dhahran/demonstrations in front of BEOs/DDPIs/DCs office to lodge our protest and send memorandum to oppose the move. 


      Anticipating your early reply on the issue to chalkout plan of action  


      In solidarity



      Centre for Child and the Law
      National Law School of India University
      Nagarbhavi,Bangalore -560242
      Telefax: +9180-23160528
      Mobile +919448986913

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      Mob 9431102680,
      Member, Secretariat & Member-Secretary, Organising Committee for Parliament Rally

      All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE)

      "Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act." Albert Einstein

      "The only thing necessary for Evil to Flourish is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke

      Mob 9431102680,
      Member, Secretariat & Member-Secretary, Organising Committee for Parliament Rally

      All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE)

      "Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act." Albert Einstein

      "The only thing necessary for Evil to Flourish is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke

      Peace Is Doable
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