By Mitra Ranjan
Education sector in India received a huge loss in the sudden demise of Prof Vinay Kantha, a renowned educationist, social worker, human rights activist and one of the founder members of Right to Education Forum (RTE Forum), said RTE National Convenor Ambarish Rai.
Prof Kantha passed away on December 25 in Delhi after a prolonged illness. He was one of the founder members of RTE Forum constituted in 2010 just after RTE Act came into force with a view to organize civil societies, social workers, educationists, academia, students associations, teachers associations and communities on one platform. He had founded Voluntary Forum of Education (VFE) in Bihar more than a decade ago.
Ambarish Rai, National Convenor of RTE Forum, said that he was not only working for the rights of children for quality and equity education, but he always worked for the downtrodden and deprived in the society. He added that it is a great loss to the education world as we have lost one more pillars who believed in rational thinking to achieve the goal to build a just and modern society based on principles of equity and a robust Public System of Education.
In 2016, Bihar Govt had honoured him with the prestigious Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puraskar for his remarkable contribution on education.
In 2006 as a Member of the Expert Committee on Education constituted by Government of Bihar, he was chiefly responsible for the writing of Reports on School education as Convenor of the group. As Chairman of the Curriculum Committee constituted by the Bihar Council for Education, Research and Training (BCERT), Patna, he had been the chief architect of the draft Bihar Curriculum Framework, 2006. Policy advocacy in education had been one of his areas of work in recent years.
He was also a member of Core Committee of the Peoples Campaign on Common School System (CSS), which had been spearheading the campaign for the introduction of CSS in India. He has been writing and speaking on diverse topics like education, child, environment, human rights etc for many years. Kantha is a human rights activist as well working with Peoples Union for Civil liberties (PUCL) in Bihar, the pre-eminent human rights organization in India.