SPECIAL CONVENTION ON EDUCATION ON THE EVE OF SFI CONFERENCE
On the eve of the Al India Conference of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) to be held at Madurai in the first week of September next, a Special Convention on the topic “Is Education for All Possible” was conducted by the ICEU, Chennai Division-I, on 7-8-2012 in the LIC Canteen Hall. Presiding over the Convention, Com.G.Jayaraman, President, ICEU, briefly narrated the objective of the Convention and also explained the present state of education in our country.
The main speaker of the Convention, Dr. Venkatesh Athreya, Economist and former Professor of Bharathidasan University, Trichy, who is now involved in the activities connected with the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, brilliantly dealt with the subject under discussion. Citing the example of Kerala, a state which could ensure one hundred percent literacy, he asserted that land reforms implemented there was the primary cause for improvement of literacy. He also explained how the former Soviet Union and other socialist countries like Cuba, North Korea, North Vietnam, East Germany, etc. paid greater attention and succeeded in providing education to the population. He lamented that despite the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution of India laying down that free and compulsory education should be provided within 10 years, India was far behind in realizing the objective even after more than 60 years have passed since the Constitution was promulgated.
Greeting the Convention, Com.K.Swaminathan, General Secretary, SZIEF, referred to the launching of a scheme of mid-day meals by Shri K.Kamaraj, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu with a view to improve enrolment in schools, which was broadened and strengthened by Shri M.G.Ramachandran during his tenure as Chief Minister of the State. Subsequently, the scheme was implemented throughout the country following an order of the Supreme Court. He was highly critical of the discrimination perpetrated on students who got admission on the basis of the 25 percent reservation quota under the Right to Education Act and the pitiable state of students belonging to the dalit and other oppressed communities who were forced even to clean the toilets in schools.
Both the speakers praised the ICEU for choosing a subject connected with education in a Convention preceding the conference of SFI.
While Com.S.Rameshkumar, General Secretary, ICEU, welcomed the gathering, Com.D.Ramesh, Joint Secretary, ICEU, proposed a vote of thanks. The audience of Convention comprised of a good number of ICEU comrades including those from the Branch Units and members from fraternal organizations.