Andhra Pradesh: Abandon merger plan, student leaders urge government.

The statewide bandh of educational institutions, in response to an appeal by the Joint Action Committee of Student Unions, was successful in Anantapur district on Tuesday.

Students from SFI, AISF, AISA and TNSF picketed outside the main gate of Sri Krisnadevaraya University campus early Tuesday morning. They were arrested by the police and taken to Itukulapalli police station, then released.

Indian State Federation of Students Vice President Suryachandra Yadav said the government should withdraw plans to merge classes III, IV and V with upper primary and high school. Vacant teaching and non-teaching positions should be filled immediately and financial support should be given to all state universities to improve the quality of education, he demanded.

Not all provisions of the national education policy were conducive to promoting free education in the country, therefore, its implementation should be stopped immediately and the old education system should be continued, he added.

Long-standing student demands have gone unmet, impacting the quality of education in both schools and colleges, student leaders said, while hurling slogans against the state and central governments.

Valerie J. Wallis