Struggling to find ways to enthuse its shrinking cadre base, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, has decided to set up a ‘central school’, which will have a curriculum to instil Left-wing values and political ideology.

“In the current scenario, it is necessary for the communist cadre to reach out to more people and spread the ideology. If we want to convert this into an effective school we will need more preparation. We will begin the job now to start the curriculum, books and structure. I seek the support of the cadre in this battle of ideas, visions and it is only the communist vision that can align our country and make it prosper," said CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

The school, which will be housed in the Harkishan Singh Surjeet Bhawan in New Delhi, was inaugurated on Wednesday. The curriculum and structure of the courses will, however, be decided by March 2020, added Yechury.

This is the first central school of the CPM, whose state units usually hold training sessions for Left cadres, especially the youth. It has been designed as a residential school to accommodate approximately 200 party cadres from across the country.

The party had its worst electoral performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when it won just three seats. The CPM is in power only in Kerala, having lost substantial ground in West Bengal and Tripura, which once were party strongholds.

It was the vision of Surjeet, the former general secretary of the party from 1992 to 2005, to open a school to reach out to the youth, Yechury said.

The construction of the building began in 2017 on the land allotted to national parties for the construction of party offices. The Bhawan will include a book shop, library, two multi-purpose halls, a lecture hall, residential accommodation for teachers and students, a conference room and an auditorium.

“We had decided 10 years ago to start a central school. We decided to construct it here on the land allotted to national parties. I am very happy to say that the building’s construction cost has been borne by the 10 lakh-plus party members. We will give education on Marx and his ideologies. Our cadre from across the country will come here for training. We hope to have the school running by next year," Prakash Karat, senior CPM leader and former general secretary of the party, said after the inauguration.

In its plenum to discuss the organizational set-up in December 2015, the CPM had reiterated that a ‘central school’ was needed to conduct organizational work, hold training sessions, and have a common set-up for distribution of party literature and campaign material.

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