Forum asks states to stop intimidating teachers

HYDERABAD, Aug 28: Stating that in certain parts of the country, particularly the Northeast, the state governments are invoking the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules to prevent or intimidate the teaching community from protesting against the educational policies, particularly the NEP-2020, the All India Forum For Right To Education (AIFRTE) has demanded that the state governments concerned immediately withdraw such repressive, anti-constitutional measures in the interest of education and the democratic future of India.

The AIFRTE is a federal platform of 80 plus students, teachers and educational rights organizations from 22 states/UTs.

 “This new policy aims at centralizing, corporatizing and communalizing the entire education system, thereby leading to massive exclusion of the children belonging to the oppressed classes and castes from schools,” the AIFRTE said in a press statement on Friday.

It said the teaching community all over India as one of the crucial stakeholders, in both school and higher education, is agitated as the policy is going to adversely affect generations of students and teachers.

“Teaching community should not be treated like the other civil services. It is a community which has to enjoy freedom to shape the young minds and provide role model to younger generation in order to enable them to fulfill their duty as citizens within the framework of the constitution,” it said.

The forum said the state governments should realize that a teacher as a citizen enjoys constitutionally guaranteed freedoms under Article 19 (1).

“We urge upon the teaching community to refuse to be intimidated and assert their fundamental right to protest as it constitutes a part of their fundamental duties as well,” the AIFRTE said.