|A Controversial Bill
If the previous Governments
of what is now Kerala had done anything very substantial
for the improvement of education then sweeping condemnation
of the Kerala Education Bill would have been better justified.
The Bill, indeed, can be much improved through modification
and if the Government renounces some of the powers it
originally claimed, that should reassure many. The announcement
that the panel of teachers would be prepared by the Public
Service Commission is welcome and also the assurance about
respect for religious property. But it is true that teachers
in Kerala, long neglected are generally in favour of the
Bill as being the first which promises them some security.
And the Congress appears to be using the agitation against
the Bill as part of its campaign against the present Government
of Kerala. Whereas teaching and curricula ought not to
be dictated, the security and pay of teachers can no longer
be left safely to private managements experience in most
parts of India confirms this. Missionary schools and schools
run by religious bodies have played a great part in Indian
education and still have a distinguished role. But denominational
schools for their part should admit that education and
funds for it require public supervision.
The Government in Kerala will have noted the strong and
countrywide opposition to the blanket powers sought by
the Bill. If Andhra has a similar Act, as is asserted,
then non-Communists must admit that what is poison for
geese is also poison for ganders. In any event there is
no excuse for violence whether in Kerala or in Rajasthan
where the “agitation” has mercifully been
called off. It should never have begun.
(The Statesman -22nd