A reference to the Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2004.

The Government of India has recently proposed a new Bill called ‘Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2004’. However, even a preliminary reading of the Bill raised several concerns that have serious implications to minority schools and educationally backward sections of our country. Therefore, immediate and urgent intervention must be made so that the Bill does not become an Act in its present form. It must also be recalled that prior to this Bill, the Government was successful in introducing the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2000 in school textbooks. This is equally harmful for minorities.

The MHRD through the CBSE Board is making inroads into Christmas Holidays of Christian Schools, fixing Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental prelims on Easter Sunday 2004, etc. The Commission has already made its representation to the CBSE Chairman.

Financial irregularities in some of our institutions, like AINACS, leading to Government’s enquiry and subsequent action.

With the Government gradually withdrawing grants-in-aid and Education becoming more and more privatized, what about the Church’s commitment of “ Option for the Poor”?