|Minister skeptical of using students in agitations|
GUWAHATI, Feb 4 - Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya today urged organisations not to involve students from government-run educational institutions in agitations and protests. Replying to a cut motion on supplementary demand for grants in the Assembly, he said various organisations have a tendency to involve students from government and public sector educational institutions in such agitation programmes.
The minister added that only students from government educational institutions are brought out to the streets by organisers of protests and agitations. “Students from Don Bosco are never seen in such events... I request all not to play with the future of the students of government-run educational institutions. Don’t make students of such institutions hostage,” he said.
The minister said the education sector in Assam started suffering since the late 1980s and early 1990s. He said many teachers were recruited irregularly during that period and the concerned cases are still going on in the courts. “We have issued direction to prepare a list of officials who had resorted to such illegal practices at that time and action will be taken against even those who have retired since then,” he added.
Bhattacharya said around 20,000-25,000 cases related to the education department are currently pending at the Gauhati High Court. He said the government has reached a decision regarding ‘Language Policy’ and a memo has been prepared for the Cabinet in this regard. “Once the Cabinet approval is secured, we will inform the House,” the minister said.
Earlier, initiating the discussion on the cut motion, AGP MLA Satyabrat Kalita said that the education sector is Assam is not in a very good shape. He urged the State government to declare all educational institutions, which are over 100 years old, as ‘heritage institutions’ and allot a separate fund for their preservation. He said educational institutions in rural areas suffer due to poor infrastructure and shortage of teachers, and asked the government to address the issues.
AIUDF’s Aminul Islam said the education department has failed to create human resources in the manner expected and called for adopting scientific steps to ensure Govt-run institutions are able to compete with private educational institutions.
Nurul Huda (Cong), Terash Gowalla (BJP), Maheswar Baro (BPF), Suman Haripriya (BJP), Rupjyoti Kurmi (Congress), Rituparna Baruah (BJP), Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha (Cong) and Numal Momin (BJP) also took part in the discussion.