Thiruvananthapuram: One of the many ways in which the CPM has been ridiculing the agitation of ‘vayalkkilikal’ in Keezhatoor is by stating that the group is disconnected from the aspirations of the common man. “Innumerable bypasses had come up over paddy and wetlands across the state over the years, and not a murmur of protest was heard,” so goes the CPM argument.
The latest report of the Assembly Subject Committee on Environment (chaired by CPI member Mullakkara Retnakaran and has as its members CPM MLAs K. Babu, O. R. Kelu and K. V. Vijayadas, and LDF independent P. V. Anwar - has framed a counter argument: “It is doubtful whether the environment science included in the syllabus of educational institutions in the state is good enough to mould an environmentally-sensitive citizen.”
The report, therefore, has called for a thorough overhaul of environment-related topics in the school curriculum. “Appropriate changes should be made in the syllabus so that each student grows with the firm realization that the protection of the environment was one of her primary responsibilities,” the Report of the Subject Committee, stated. The Report also pointed out the irony of the Malayali’s famed political awareness. “The Malayali will not even raise a finger against the levelling of paddy fields but will vehemently demand that rice prices be reduced, and also that rice should be made available aplenty,” the Report said.
It also highlights the folly of consuming rice imported from outside the state. “It has been proven that essential items coming from outside have high pesticide content. We consume such food knowingly, and as a result we have lost the capability to fight diseases like cancer and gastrointestinal problems,” the Report said.
It has recommended that a “review committee” should be set up to ensure that environment studies are not just included, but taught, in all degree courses as mandated by the UGC. Further, the report moots the creation of a one-year special certificate course in environment science.
It also wants the PSC to grant bonus points to candidates who had taken the certificate course. The report also wants the existing practice of providing vacation environment classes for lower primary teachers to be extended to include even college lecturers and professors....