Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Red Star Opinion: On Revolutionary Students Transforming Education

Posted by irisbright on March 31, 2009

Lekhnath Neupane, chairperson of ANNISU(R).

This article is from The Red Star (Vol-2, No-6, March. 16 – 31, 2009).  It is posted at Banned Thought.

Lekhnath Neupane (chairperson of the ANNISU(R)–pictured right) was interviewed about the Free Student Elections along with the chairpersons of the other major student unions by myrepublica.com.  Click on the image to read these interviews.

Opinion: ANNISU & Restruturing of Eductional Sector

by Lekhnath Neupane

The election of the students’ Union has both the positive and negative aspects. We, the revolutionary students Union, are progressive and follow the Marxist opinion as our guideline. Therefore, we try to see and follow the positive aspects and fight against negatives learning from the history and our own experiences. This is the first election of the Independent Students’ Union (ISU) after the declaration of Republic of Nepal.

The entire nation is in the process of political and socio-economic transformation. The people and the nation have expected something new to be made after the political change in Nepal. All the youth have changed their notion, views and aspiration towards building an independent nation. Therefore, they are carefully watching the declarations and activities of the different students’ unions especially in higher studies institutions. From the point of view of the existence, many students unions are in every campuses and universities and we are in the situation to accept the existence of each other. We cannot advance without accepting the identity and existence of each other.

However, the students are carefully and consciously observing the conventional students’ unions and their activities and they are eager to taste new. They are feeling the revolutionary students’ union is only the alternative and decisive organization to bring change. The educated youth are in a big debate about their future along with the nation itself.

If we dig out the history of the students’ union, the Nepal Students’ Union (NSU)- affiliated to Nepali Congress and All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union (ANNISU)- affiliated to CPN (UML) have most of the time been in executive place of the student unions. However, the Independent Students’ Union (ISU), the common umbrella of the students, became very weaker in the period of NSU and ANNISU. We can say the existence of ISU nearly perished. ISU became role-less, direction-less and irresponsible.

In this crucial moment, the central leadership of those Students’ Unions didn’t take any initiative to lead the situation towards change. Now, a better and favourable situation has been created after we publicized our commitments, agendas and documents to bring a big change in the sector of education along with the protection of students’ rights. The conscious and educated students/youths will caste vote for ANNISU (Revolutionary) for the restructuring of educational sector along with the entire state restructuring.

For this, our student’s union has raised three main agendas. The first one is political agenda because our nation is in transition period and we have publicized our commitment to change it into positive direction. The regressive and reactionary forces are now trying to regain their ‘lost heaven’ by accumulating their power even making alliance with foreign reactionaries. Their effort is to stop the progressive process and drive it back to regression. To cross this conspiracy, we have openly appealed the youth. We are holding many programs to clarify which ideology and which party is able to carry the nation and its people ahead. The debate clearly crosses the obstacles without biasness. The students and the youth are free to make the correct conception and ideas about it.

The question of nationality has been the main question these days. The foreign reactionary powers are interfering the nation and internal nationality question. The feudalist centre-monarchy has been thrown away. The past rule and rulers gave priority to one language, custom, uniform and religion in the nation. This created monopoly in the nation that made the internal question of nationality weaker. We have to unite those together. Therefore, People’s Republic is only alternative for the unification and restructuring. The Constituent Assembly (CA) is its legal-leadership. We want to fuse the legal-process within CA and political-process out of the CA. after this process, the pro-people constitution is made. This pro-people constitution can lead the internal and external nationality question.

The education system can be pro-people only when the politics become pro-people. The responsibility shifts towards people. The restructuring of educational sector will solve the discrimination between the education for haves and education for have nots. It will exterminate the obligatory situation of the poor people to send their children to poor-conditioned schools. Simultaneously the higher education should be changed into vocational education, technical education and innovative education. Vocational education is directly connected with employment, technical education is linked with reconstruction and development of infrastructure and likewise innovative education is linked with invention and search.

For this, the pro-people education system should be formed and that should be the foundation of People’s Democratic education system. The package program of reform should be brought. The government of Nepal has declared important programs for drastic change. For this implementation of this declared program, we are trying to create a favourable environment by its publicity among the people and the youth and students. The University of Agriculture, University of Poly-technical education, University of Medic al colleges and open Universities, Free education up to proficiency certificate level and literacy-campaigns are directed to drastic change in educational sector. We are creating pressure through peaceful movements for the cancellation of private schools and free education up to universities.

Thirdly, we are talking about the restructuring of ISU. In the period of Panchayat system, ISU was established to struggle against the tyraneous rule of the period. ISU became successful and established as a glorious union among the students. However, after the re-establishment of parliamentary democracy in 1990, the ISU became direction-less and irresponsible, ISU became the place of corruption bullying and all the disfiguration and absurdity. The representatives and the leaders of ISU made the institution of students infamous. During the period, the leaders or the representatives were from NSU and ANNISU. Now, we are trying to restructure ISU according to the changed situation.

Our revolutionary students’ union is quite different from the NSU and ANNISU. We haven’t confined ourselves within the circle of government in Singhdurbar like the NSU and ANNISU. We are continuously advancing the movement of pressure and the movement of awareness. Our union follow the notion to keep the state and state power under the supervision of people.

The present election of ISU is going to be held under the educational institutions and campuses affiliated to Tribhuwan University Nepal Sankrit University and Pokhara University. Revolutionary students’ union has its stronghold in all the institutions and campuses. Revolutionary students’ union has been strongly consolidated after the unity with other two Students’ Union. Our union has been victorious uncontestedly in 4 of the campuses of the nation.

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