Initiatives to Safeguard Public Education in Kerala

The Government of Kerala is committed to protect the idea and culture of public education in the state. The state’s early initiatives in public as well as continuing education sectors have been extremely successful. The Total Literacy Programme, spearheaded by the Left Democratic Front Government in 1989, remains one of the most successful campaigns in the last 25 years that determined the destiny of Kerala. With a literacy rate of 93.94%, Kerala is currently the most literate state in India, whereas the national average is just 74%. With a focus on continuing education, the mission reached out to the most deprived of classes and transformed Kerala into a model state. Educators across the world have since been visiting the state’s institutions to study the much applauded public and continuing education system.

Literacy Programme for Migrant Labourers

The LDF Government in office takes it up as its responsibility to continue the literacy mission. In recent times, Kerala has become the most desired destination for migrant labourers, owing to the state’s better wage rates, infrastructure facilities and quality of life. With the aid of the State Literacy Mission, the government will launch a project to educate the migrant labourers and their families, who do not have access to their basic education needs otherwise. A literacy programme in Hindi and Malayalam is being conceptualized. Awareness programmes will be organized to provide them with basic and relevant knowledge on Health, Law, Environment and Constitution, in view of the working conditions and the manipulative and exploitative nature of the unorganized sector.

Community Colleges and Finishing Schools

To provide tertiary and continuing education to the underprivileged, community colleges will be instituted in all polytechnics. Finishing schools will be instituted in select 41 polytechnics across the state. A social development project is being conceived so as to implement it in select 31 polytechnics to increase employment opportunities for the local community. The government also plans to establish in these polytechnics, centres that offer production level training. Funds will be granted for nine polytechnics and nine engineering colleges through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board to further infrastructure facilities.

Comprehensive Mission for Educational Reforms

An initial summit has been convened to deliberate upon the newly conceived mission to safeguard public education. The mission endeavours to upgrade the infrastructure facilities and academic excellence of the public schools in the state. In the initial stage, teachers from Alappuzha, Puthukkad, Kozhikkode and Thaliparamba constituencies will be given special training, to ease out the efforts. A comprehensive school management system will be developed for a close academic monitoring. Funds have already been allocated to various projects, aiming to make our public schools centres of excellence. 220 Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary Schools, 140 High Schools and 640 Lower Primary and Upper Primary Schools have been allocated with 20 million, 50 million and 10 million rupees respectively. Lower Primary, Upper Primary and High Schools will be allocated with rupees o.2 million in order to establish computer facilities. As an extension to the project, schools across Kerala will be given broadband connectivity. 60% of our public schools already have broadband connectivity. Rupees 0.8 million have been allocated to renovate 1000 high school labs. A sum of 0.15 million has been allocated for Biodiversity Parks and Talent Parks, while 10 million has been allocated to Arts, Sports and Cultural Parks. 2 million rupees have been allocated for 140 swimming pools. The supervision and regulation of these projects come under the jurisdiction of Local Self Governing Bodies, who should also put in order the master plans. Comprehensive training programmes will be designed to raise awareness among parents and teachers.

Green Campus Protocol

A Green Protocol will be implemented in all public schools. The project aims to bring awareness among students of the ill effects of plastic and other non-degradable substances. Class leaders and teachers will be provided with training classes by resource persons of the Suchitwa Mission. Green Protocol teams will be constituted in each school for monitoring the activities.

The comprehensive mission thus strives to refurbish the public and continuing education sectors of the state. Along with infrastructure facilities that boost the academic atmosphere, the project aims to be an all inclusive programme that would contribute to the cultivation of a responsible society.