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Lack of textbooks sparks protest across state

Bhubaneswar Oct. 11: The All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) today held state-wide demonstrations criticising the state government’s failure to provide schoolbooks.

The student activists also demanded the immediate filling up of the vacancies of teachers in schools and colleges and demanded a complete fee waiver for students of the drought-hit areas.

AIDSO members demonstrated in Balangir, Berhampur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.

The activists, who held demonstrations at the PMG square here, also tried to meet higher education minister Debi Mishra.

“We had been to meet the minister but he was busy with a padyatra. They have time for padyatras but not for improving the deteriorating condition of the education system in the state,” said AIDSO secretary Braja Bandhu Sahoo.

“We are protesting against the all-out drive of the government to bring about commercialisation and privatisation of education,” AIDSO state president Ashok Mishra said.

According to Mishra, there are no books, no teachers and no help for students in distress. “There is nothing from the state government except blank promises. The entire education system in the state has collapsed. It’s a strategic move of the state government to encourage private players in education sector,” Mishra said.

The AIDSO demands complete waiver of fee for students of the drought-hit areas, school books and immediate filling up of teacher vacancies across the state.

The AIDSO state president accused the government of intentionally neglecting education so that people stop sending students to government schools.

He said the government is hand-in-glove with private schools and colleges and that is the reason it was not doing anything to save the education sector.

“What has the state government done except holding meeting on designing uniforms for teachers and colouring school buildings? It is already October and school students are yet to get their books. Can’t they ensure this minimum facility for the poor students of the state?” Sahoo said.

“Vacancies in education sector has plagued the entire system and the situation is only worsening over the years,” he added.

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