Evil Nexus against RTE Act in Tamilnadu:SFI Organises Militant Protests

S P Rajendran

THE Students' Federation of India organised militant protests across Tamilnadu against the evil nexus of the private schools and the school education department of the government of Tamilnadu, on June 9.
J Rajmohan , SFI state secretary, who led a protest at the Directorate of School Education  in Chennai  asked the government to monitor the fees, since many private schools charge higher than the amount stipulated by the fee fixation committee.
There are several schools in the state that charge two to three times higher than the amount fixed by the committee. “Even government and government-aided schools ask parents for Rs 5000-10,000 for admissions,” he said.
“In many schools, the students admitted through the 25 per cent quota in the RTE are forced to pay large amounts of money as fees for ‘extracurricular’ activities,” he said, adding that most schools were even reluctant to admit students under the quota.
Even when the state government has extended the last date for issuing applications for the 25 per cent seats under the RTE act, the managements of the private schools are not ready to issue applications for poor students. Instead, both the private school managements and the government are jointly indulging in a fraudulent approach towards the RTE.
In the current academic year, which began on June 1, the government released a statement that 3,720 seats are available in the private schools across the state under the RTE Act. But the private schools said that they had already finished admissions under the Act. They fraudulently prepare a list of students, who have paid the full fee amount as well as the capitation fees and claim they have filled the quota of 25 percent reservation under the RTE Act. The department of school education is giving its full blessings for this fraud and for the very attack on the constitutional rights of the children to get free education.
Condemning this, SFI called for a statewide siege in front of educational offices. Responding to this, hundreds of students organised under the banner of SFI in several districts including Madurai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Nagapattinam,  Virudhunagar and Dindigul.
But the AIADMK government tried to suppress the students protest through police force. In many places, police unleashed cruel attack on students.
Particularly in Nagapattinam, the police showed its cruel face. They resorted to brutal lathicharge on the young boys. In this, eight  students including SFI district leaders V Singaravelan, P Mariappan and A Rajmohan got heavily injured and were hospitalised. In Chennai and Coimbatore also, the police attacked students among whom many were girl students. SFI state committee gave a call to protest against the police oppression on the school students.

Tamilnadu witnessed continuous protests as well as formation of new student-youth groups in the name of Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle, condemning the ban on APSC in the campus of IIT Madras. DYFI and SFI led the protests as front runners.
Protests across the state created a pressure on the administration of IIT Madras to revoke the ban on the APSC. It also had to appoint a  faculty advisor for Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle.​
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on June 7 evening issued formal orders revoking the ban. The ban was revoked following a meeting between the student group and the IIT director. The authorities of IIT Madras also admitted that the students group did not violate any guidelines. While dropping its decision to de-recognise APSC, the institute also appointed Professor Miland Brahme as advisor after talks between the dean of students and representatives of APSC to resolve the issue.  Meanwhile, reacting over revocation of the ban, APSC said, "This is a victory for a strong democratic students movement."
DYFI and SFI organised protests in various places against the derecognition. At Nangavalli in Salem district, DYFI cadres conducted a protest against the ban on APSC on June 6. The police unleashed an attack on the youth and women. Led by S Muthukannan, state president of the DYFI, the cadres strongly protested and resisted the police attack.
On June 4, a student study circle in the name of legendary communist leader Singaravelar, at the premises of the University of Madras was organised. SFI leaders of South Chennai addressed the study circle.

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