Kerala: Opposition leader flays education policies

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Oct 23 15:46:19 UTC 2007


*Oct 23, 2007*
    *Chandy flays education policies*
Tuesday October 23 2007 11:52 IST

*Express News Service*

 Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and Education Minister M.A. Baby interacts
during the public debate organised by the General Education Department on
the Kerala Curriculum Framework, at the Science and Technology Museum in
Thiruvananthapuram on Monday

T'PURAM: Opposition leader Oommen Chandy came down heavily on the policy of
the LDF Government in the general education sector at the public debate
organised by the General Education Department on the Kerala Curriculum
Framework prepared by the SCERT held at Science and Technology Museum here
on Monday.

Chandy who inaugurated the meeting said that the government should evolve a
consensus before bringing in even small reforms in the sector as it is a
sensitive subject.

Opposition leader said that discussions should be convened with all
concerned before taking any decision relating to education. This is the
lesson one can learn from analysing the past decisions in the education

He also wanted to give more importance to the teaching of English in view of
the globalisation and the developments in IT sector. This has to be done
without hampering the study of Malayalam language and culture. He also
wanted more emphasis on computer education.

He criticised the move to hand over duties relating to education to
panchayats. Though local bodies were doing a good job, they were not
competent enough to handle education issues. He also criticised the move to
bring general education, vocational higher secondary education and higher
education under a single directorate.

Educationalists, leaders of various service organisations and
representatives of local bodies took part in the debate. Education Minister
M.A. Baby presided over the function.

Earlier in the morning, Education Minister convened a meeting of
representatives of teachers' unions. Education Minister assured the meeting
that the language policy for higher secondary education would remain as it
is now. There is no plan to make Malayalam the medium of instruction for
higher secondary education sector. English would continue to be the medium
of instruction in higher secondary schools, he said.

There will also be no change in the timings of schools. A guideline will be
formulated before handing over any duties relating to education to
panchayats. He said that the conducting of cluster meeting for teachers'
training on Saturdays was not the policy of the government. However, cluster
meetings were conducted in some Saturdays that were sixth working days due
to unavoidable circumstances, he said.

Teachers' Unions affiliated to the UDF said that they would continue to
boycott cluster meetings that were held on the sixth working days. K.
Vikraman Nair, P. Vinay Das, C.P. Cheriya Mohammed, Sheriff Chandanathoppu,
A.K. Chandran, John Philip. P.A. Hariharan, M.F. Joy, A.K. Abdul Samad and
K. Moyoinkutty represented various unions at the meeting.
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