ImageIT is an untold story.

Untold stories and unnoticed issues are always identified and revealed to the public only by the Communists. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Tamil Nadu unearthed the shocking truth that nearly 1000 schools of the state government were closed in the last ten years, which is the period covering both the DMK and AIADMK rule.

Taking this issue seriously, the state committee of the Party had organised a Special Convention in Chennai on November 29. Due to the worst ever educational policies of the successive governments at the centre and the state, the primary, elementary and secondary schooling system in Tamil Nadu has been vehemently attacked. By allowing a free-run to the private money makers in the field of school education, the government of Tamil Nadu is struggling to save its own schools. In the last 13 years, in the state, the number of students of private schools has increased by three times and at the same time the number of students of government schools has decreased drastically. According to the statistics of the government of Tamil Nadu, in primary education, 43.67 percent children studied in government primary schools in the year 2008-09. In that year, 34.5 percent children got admission in private schools. This ratio has been changing year by year; the number of students in government primary schools decreased to 40.75 percent in 2009-10; 38.56 percent in 2010-11; 37.75 percent in 2011-12 and to the rock-bottom of 36.58 percent in 2012-13. That is, 7.09 percent decrease in the last five years. In the case of primary classes of private schools, there is a 10.9 percent increase in the number of students in the last five years. The figures are: 34.5, 38.3, 41.18, 42.92 and 45.4 percent in the respective years from 2008-09 to 2012-13.

The AIADMK government, which is now in the stage of a standstill and is inactive with a ‘headless head’, is claiming that the deteriorating condition of the government schools is being corrected; and the schools are now functioning with a good number of students. But the irony is, the government itself has accepted the deteriorating conditions of the government schools in its latest report (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) in the last session of the legislative assembly. According to the report, within two years 55,774 students left the government schools in the state. And, nearly 1000 schools were closed due to the decrease in the number of students, the report said. What is the reason? The reason is the policy of the government. For the government, government schools are treated as ‘orphaned’ ones. There is no basic infrastructure including toilets and drinking water. No teachers, no class rooms, no laboratory… so many ‘NO’s of the government schools are haunting the children and their parents. The government is not ready to address the issues of the schools. By doing so, the government itself is pushing the parents and children towards the private schools. On the other side, the private schools offer attractive plans for the primary classes. Particularly, in all private schools there are kinder garden classes (Pre-KG, LKG and UKG). But in the government primary schools, these nursery classes are missing. Nowadays, parents want to admit and give education for their wards from Pre KG onwards. And there is a belief that the English medium education is the only way to ensure that the children have an edge in this world. Urban and rural parents are brainwashed by this campaign of the private schools and yield to them. Through this, today, thousands of private KG schools as well as private matric schools are attracting more and more children and reaping crores and crores of profits. It really is a billion dollar business in Tamil Nadu.

Last year the government of Tamil Nadu introduced English medium classes in the government primary and elementary schools in the name of competing with the private schools. But it was a wrong decision. The CPI (M) and the Students’ Federation of India opposed that and criticised that the English medium classes are not the solution for the basic problems of the government schools. Basically, education in the mother tongue is the only best medium and it is a scientific approach to educate the child. But the private players of education in Tamil Nadu bat for English medium right from the KG classes. In this background, the government schools are facing a crisis. The CPI (M) has recently conducted a sample survey in Dindigul district. In 12 blocks in the district, at 140 schools there are only below 20 students each. All are primary schools. All are in danger of closure. If these schools get closed, where will the rural poor children go to learn? With this question, the CPI(M) state committee has organised the above said Special Convention in Chennai. G Ramakrishnan, state secretary of the Party presided over the convention. Retired IAS officer Vijayakumar, Prof. Venkatesh Aathreya, Prof. S Madasamy, Prof. and writer Arunan, SFI secretary J Rajmohan and CPI (M) South Chennai district secretary A Pakkiyam spoke at the convention.

Demanding the AIADMK government to save government schools, G Ramakrishnan asked the government to allot more funds for this purpose. He demanded proper implementation of the RTE act, special attention to teach English language, starting nursery classes in all government schools and to fill up the all vacant teaching posts etc. In this convention, an interesting event also took place. The Party felicitated 12 teachers including 3 women, who dedicated their service to the urban and rural poor children’s education and to prevent the closure of government schools in their respective duty places. VS Muthu Ramasmy, head master of Erode Municipal school; Vijayalalitha, headmistress of a panchayat union primary school in Narikatiyur village, Karur district; Anbalagan, science teacher of Uthiramerur school in Kanchipuram district; Wilson raj, head master of government primary school in Poochivilagam village in Kanniyakumari district; Murugan, head master of government school, Songadu village in Vellore district; Kanagaraj, head master of a primary school in Tiruppur district; Thangaraj, a teacher of government school in Namakkal district; Citra and Bhuvana, teachers of government schools from Erode district and other teachers – all were felicitated at the convention for their dedication to save the government schools and the education of the poor children.