With every passing year the students of Mumbai University are forced to face a fresh set of problems. It is strongly promoted in the media that time has the ability to sort all problems. However, we have witnessed quite the contrary, where, as time has progressed our condition has worsened.
A recent ‘development’ is the draft Maharashtra Universities Act which will be tabled in the winter session of the State Assembly. The proposed Act is a deliberate attempt to silence the voices of dissent from the University. The provisions in the draft Act aim to commercialize the education system.
Madhu Paranjape, General Secretary of the Bombay University and College Teacher’s Union (BUCTU), said that the draft Act would take away the element of democracy and theautonomy of the university. She said, “The hidden agenda behind this draft Act is to dismantle the grant-in-aid system …The Act only seeks to commercialize the education system by giving it a legal framework”.
She added, that if implemented, it would reduce the number of elected members in the University Senate from at least 60 to 16. This reduction in members directly affects us as the voices of opposition in our favor will drastically decrease.
Currently, we have institutes and centres like Kalina that provide a fairly decent education at a relatively affordable price whereas private institutes are making holes in our pockets. And the stark reality is that the prices are only going to keep on increasing exponentially. The education system has become a business. We are noticing changes taking place but the simple question that we raise is – why are NONE of these changes for the benefit of the students?
In the past, we have seen the positive impact of students raising their voices and coming out on the streets. But this empowering momentum needs to be sustained, otherwise the situation will keep worsening. Ultimately, higher education will become inaccessible to common people if we don’t take steps towards changing the current situation.
So, let us not accept everything blindly!! Instead of expecting changes to miraculously take place, we must come TOGETHER and bring the change.