The Main Objects of
Bill already introduced in the Kerala Legislature and
referred to the Select Committee is intended mainly to
be a safeguard against the disabilities enumerated above.
The following are the main objects:-
(1) To give the departmental rules and practices legal
sanction so that the Department is in a position to enforce
its orders and see that reasonable protection is afforded
(2) To regulate the choice, appointment, conditions of
service, etc, of teachers in private schools without curtailing
the supervisory powers of Managers.
(3) To secure authority for Government to proceed effectively
against grossly mismanaged schools.
(4) To take over any category of schools of any area if
Government are convinced of the desirability of such action
in the interests of education.
(5) To set up a high-level Advisory Board to guide Government
in the matter of framing educational policies and to constitute,
at district level, Local Educational Authorities comprising
elected representatives of local educational interests
to assist the Department for the better conduct of educational
The major issue on which opposition from the managements
has converged is the appointment of teachers. The Christian
Managements, especially Catholic Managements, claim absolute
freedom in the matter of choosing and appointing teachers
in their schools even though the entire salary and allowances
of the teachers (even the pension as provided for in the
Bill) are fully paid by Government over and above a sum
towards maintenance expenses. They want the schools (established
and maintained by them under conditions prescribed by
the Department) to be manned by their own teachers whose
services they want to utilise in order to teach religion,
too, without additional payment. Even the feeblest restraint
on the choice of teachers is resented by them. The weightage
of Christian agencies is something repugnant to other
Communities in the State, who feel that it is unfair that
the Education Budget under Salaries and Allowances is
exclusively set apart for a particular Community.
What the Government proposes as a remedy for the evils
in the matter of appointment is this. At the beginning
of every year the Public Service Commission will be asked
to prepare a State List of candidates to be recruited
as teachers, taking into account the probable off-take
of teachers in the private sector and in the public sector.
The managers will be free to choose and appoint whomsoever
they like from the State List. Those who are left over
will be found jobs in the Government schools. This arrangement,
Government hope, would give enough freedom to private
agencies in the choice and appointment of teachers while
securing communal equity and minimising the scope for
illegal gratification. In future complete parity will
be maintained with regard to emoluments and conditions
of service of teachers in the private sector and the public
sector. Government feel that the fear on the part of Christian
managements that the panel system proposed in the Bill
would serve as a “back-door” for Communists
to get in would be allayed by this arrangement. The teachers
in general and the people at large have expressed their
support of this proposal.
In taking over schools Government would see that religious
interests are in no way offended or thwarted. Properties
of schools attached to places of worship or coupled with
religious interests will be exempted from the operation
of the provisions of the proposed Bill.
The criticism form certain quarters that the implementation
of Clause (17) of the Bill, even in a District, would
ultimately lead to nationalisation of schools is unwarranted
particularly in face of the assurance that Government
have not declared nationalisation as a policy. Something
exactly similar to this has already been attempted by
the Andhra Government. The Andhra Educational Institutions
Bill (1956) has provided for the following:-
(1) To empower the Government to take over the management
of the aided schools themselves on a permanent basis;
(2) To take over the buildings, equipment and furniture
after paying reasonable compensation for the purpose;
(3) To provide for the principles and the manner in which
compensation has to be paid.
The criticism that the present Kerala Government have
embarked on something unusual or unheard of is therefore
baseless. It is not the intention of the Andhra Government
to take over all aided schools in the State. To begin
with, the Andhra Government have taken over the schools
of one District i.e., Nellore, where, presumably conditions
are more propitious than elsewhere for such taking over.
This is exactly what the Kerala Government proposes to
Another criticism of the Bill is levelled against the
creation of Local Educational Authorities. It is unfortunate
that such criticism has corpped up in this State, which
is much more interested than any other State in India
in democratizing administration. The association of the
people with the machinery of Government is the first step
in the democratization of administration. There are two
stages in the association of the people with official
action. One stage is when official action is taken with
the full knowledge, though not necessarily the concurrence
of the people. The second stage is when the official is
dependent for his action on the prior concurrence of the
people. Government feels that the political consciousness
of the people has not matured enough to take up the second
stage of democratization. But our people are competent
enough to go into the first stage.
It is with this realization that the Government have proposed
to create Educational Authorities at District level. The
Local Educational Authorities as envisaged in the Education
Bill will be composed of representatives of managements,
graduate and non-graduate teachers, Local self-government
bodies and one or two nominees of Government distinguished
in the field of education. The fear that the Local Educational
Authorities would be Communist agencies is completely
unwarranted. The local Educational Authorities will have
little to do with the day-to-day administration of the
Department and conduct of schools. The main object of
the Authorities would be as follows:
(1) to help the Department to assess the educational needs
of the locality every year;
(2) to vitalize the popular agencies attached to schools
for the conduct of the mid-day meal scheme.
(3) to organize conferences, exhibitions etc., in order
to bring the local people in better contact with the educational
affairs of the area.
This venture to associate people’s representatives
with the Education Department is not anything unusual.
In U.S.A., Great Britain and Ceylon, there are Local Educational
Authorities to work along with the Departmental Officers.
The functions assigned to Local Educational Authorities
in those countries are many and varied. This Government
does not propose to go so far. The Bill contemplates only
the first step towards democratization of administration
in the sphere of education.
Government proposes to extend the system of direct payment
now obtained in the Malabar area to the Travancore-Cochin
area also. This mode of payment is objected to by a section
of the managers. They hold the view that if the manager
does not have the power to countersign and present the
salary bill, his supervisory control over the teachers
will become ineffective. This is a wrong contention. In
Government Departments officers at the top are able to
enforce discipline on the staff without being paymasters.
The Conduct Rules laid down by the Government provide
a weapon sufficiently effective in the bands of superior
officers to control the conduct of the staff. On managers,
too, Government proposes to invest certain rights and
enough authority to enable them to have effective supervisory
control over teachers, to the ultimate benefit of both
the teachers and the taught.