Church council slams amendment to education rules

Gayathri | Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:10 AM IST

The Inter-Church Council on Tuesday lashed out at the state government for unilaterally amending the Kerala Education Rules. 'We will not accept the decision,' council president and Syro Malabar Church major archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry told reporters here.

He said the government should take the aided school managements into confidence. 'Immediate steps should be taken to approve the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff in higher secondary schools granted in 2014-15,' he said.

The cardinal said the government should reconsider its decision not to allot new courses in aided and self-financing colleges. 'Universities should not interfere in the functioning of autonomous colleges,' he said.

On chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's remarks against Christian managements earlier in the day, Alencherry said: 'The chief minister wouldn't have made such a statement. It will be in a different sense even if he said so,' he said.

Alencherry said that the contribution of self-financing educational institutions to the education sector in the state should not be undermined.

'It will be possible to go ahead through discussions,' he said, adding that there was a system to check the wrongdoings by institutions.

Besides making it mandatory for aided school managers to appoint teachers only from the bank of around 3,000 surplus teachers, the amendment brought in by the LDF government last month had changed the student-teacher ratio. While the ratio was 1: 45 for all school classes, the same was amended to 1:30 for class I to V, 1:35 in classes V to VIII and 1:45 in classes IX and X.

The council also wanted the government to speed up the process of appointing teachers for various courses allotted for aided colleges in 2012-13 and reinstate CMAT (common management admission test) for admission to management courses in the state.

The council will launch joint activities of various Christian denominations on Wednesday. It has decided to focus on families and bringing more youth into the believers' fold. 'Concepts like individual freedom are being misunderstood... Youngsters are an integral part of families and societies,' Alencherry said.