Kerala has never been an investment friendly place, thanks to the militant trade unionism and practices like ‘nookkuli’ (a sort of daylight extortion by the head-load workers). Add to this the innumerable hartals / strikes / bandhs called by the political parties and other organisations at a drop of a hat. There is not a single day in Kerala without a hartal / strike / bandh happening in some part of the State.
But now, another facet is the effect of these hartals / strikes / bandhs on educational institutions.
According to a recent report in the New Indian Express, since the start of this academic year in June 2013, students across Kerala have lost five to nine school days till date due to the various hartals / strikes / bandhs and other agitations, depending on where they live.
Thiruvalla Taluk accounted for the most days lost. Across the State many schools remained shut for four days on account of strikes called by different student organisations like the SFI, KSU, ABVP and AISF. And students in Trivandrum have lost an additional two to three days, thanks to the LDF’s siege of the city on August 12 & 13.
As per Kerala-specific RTE rules, a student has to attend classes on at least 200 days. At the secondary level, a student should get 1,000 hours of class and a primary school student should get 800 hours of class. But in reality classes are held on less than 180 days.
It goes without saying that the quality of teaching is the worst hit in these circumstances. Teachers would just rush through the course to finish the syllabus. Even though Kerala boasts of a high literacy rate, the standard of education in Kerala is not very high.
It’s time our stupid brain dead political leaders, irrespective of whichever party they belong to, reconsider this outdated method of protest which does not benefit anyone. Our children, the future citizens, need to attend school and study in a peaceful environment. You guys owe it to them.
You can also read my earlier post on ‘Kerala – Devil’s or Hartal’s own country?‘