Teachers’ representation in proposed higher education commission demanded

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BHUBANESWAR: Members of All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO) on the federation’s 30th statutory conference held here on Saturday demanded representation of teachers in the proposed Higher Education Commission of India.

Keshab Bhattacharya, president of AIFUCTO, said the University Grants Commission (UGC) has four teachers as its members. “But we do not have representation of teachers in the proposed commission, which will replace UGC. It has planned to take two academy administrators as members instead of teachers in the commission. We cannot accept this,” he added.

The teachers strongly protested commercialization of education in the country and attack on students and teachers.

Arun Kumar, federation’s general secretary, said the government has an ulterior motive to commercialize and privatize education in the country. “Children of poor people cannot get entry into different public universities if the government will commercialize education. Public and private universities cannot be measured in same yardstick,” he added.

He said the government is trying to commercialize the educational institutions like PSUs and centralize the education system instead of decentralize it. “We are fighting for affordable education and autonomy of the educational institutions,” he added.

Manas Behera, secretary of the federation, said attack on students in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) cannot be acceptable. “The students demand complete rollback of hike in hostel fees in JNU. It is a legible demand and the government should consider it without using police force on the students. Besides, teachers cannot work freely and independently in different institutions,” he added.

The conference was attended by higher education minister Arun Kumar Sahoo and science and technology minister Ashok Chandra Panda. Sahoo put emphasis on quality education in higher educational institutions. He also discussed about strengthening of government institutes because a lot of students from poor financial background study here.

This conference will continue till Monday. Teachers will discuss on new national education policy in the conference on Sunday.

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