Dr. Vinod Raina

The loss of radical educationist Dr Vinod Raina is deeply felt by progressive movements in the country. Dr Vinod Raina passed away in Delhi on September 12, 2013, following a prolonged struggle with cancer.

Having achieved a Ph.D in physics from Delhi University in 1973, Vinod joined a team of science teachers and students from the university to assist the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP) being run by two local organizations. The programme, which developed a radical methodology of teaching science, working with government school teachers and students, inspired in Vinod Raina a lifelong confidence in and commitment to the belief that government schools could be made sensitive to India’s social conditions. This experience eventually led to the creation of Ekalavya in the 1980s, a project in which Vinod Raina was closely involved. Vinod Raina eventually left his job at Delhi University in 1982 and shifted to Bhopal to devote his time to Ekalavya’s work. Ekalavya, with Vinod and other radical educationists at its core, linked itself to the people’s science movement pioneered by Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP).

Vinod Raina had pushed hard for the enactment and later, implementation of the Right to Education Act. While many fellow travellers in the education movement felt betrayed by the Act eventually passed by the UPA Government, and had differences and debates with Dr. Raina in that process, there was no doubting his abiding commitment to a state-funded Common Education System and his opposition to privatisation and commercialisation. His rich contribution to the struggle to transform India’s schooling system and re-establish it on a firm foundation of democracy, social justice and secularism will continue to inspire the education movement, and progressive movements.

Liberation Archive