Interactive lecture on education by Aruna Roy

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Dehra Dun, May 19 (UNI) With a view to enlightening masses on the importance of education and right to information, eminent human rights activist and Magsaysay awardee Aruna Roy said the onus of ensuring education without privatising it was the responsibilty of the Uttarakhand Government.

In an interactive lecture on 'Education and Inclusion' by Ms Roy, as part of the continuing Sir Ratan Tata Lecture Series on Education and Inclusion here last evening, Ms Roy dwelved at length on the state's education system.

The talk was hosted by the Latika Roy Foundation, a Dehra Dun-based voluntary organisation which operates a number of projects for children with disabilities.

Participants included teachers, doctors, parents and school children who voiced their concerns on the policies of the education system, as currently practised.

The foremost priority of participants was to learn how to use the Right to Information Act to safeguard against any hijack by higher authorities to privatise higher education.

Teachers sought to know why they were not given the same frame as politicians or actors when it came to choosing popular rolemodels.

One teacher said it was unfortunate that during felicitation of the state's teachers by the government, teachers from West Bengal were accorded the national merit, when as per alphabetical order, Uttarakhand should have been considered first.

Questions pertaining to the Rural Employment Act were also asked.

Ms Roy said the government's scheme of providing employment for 100 days was not 'feasible as '' what would a poor man do for the rest of the 265 days?'' She said harping on the policy of 'west knows best' was an undertone to our capabilities and added it was imperative to correct the 'structure of hierarchy' when it came to distinguishing between a poor child and a rich child. ''Why should I think that my child should learn to speak and write in English and go to IIM or Cambridge.. why shouldn't a poor child be given the same privilege?'' she said.

The event was attended by over 200 people. Some previous invitees included Director of NCERT Dr Krishna Kumar, Edication consultant Subir Shukla, American folksinger and social change activist Charlie King.

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