New schooling coverage misses basic aim of human improvement, growth of information: Congress


New Delhi, August 2

The Congress on Sunday mentioned the brand new National Education Policy misses the basic aim of human improvement and growth of information, noting that it’s excessive on “catchwords” and “verbosity” however lacks essential funds and a coherent roadmap for implementation.

It alleged that the coverage has circumvented parliamentary oversight and there was no dialogue with the academia besides the RSS.

Addressing a press convention right here, Congress leaders MM Pallam Raju, Rajeev Gowda and Randeep Surjewala mentioned the NEP seeks to create a digital divide between the poor and the wealthy because it promotes privatisation of public schooling and “this will lead to it going out of reach of the middle class and the disadvantaged in the society”.

They additionally questioned the federal government’s intent in elevating spending on schooling to six per cent of the GDP, saying the identical has fallen from 4.14 per cent of GDP in 2014 to three.2 per cent at present below the Modi authorities and is more likely to fall additional attributable to cuts in outlays on account of useful resource crunch because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The National Education Policy 2020, which aimed to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education, is high on catchwords, gloss, appearance and verbosity yet lacks a coherent implementational roadmap and strategy, clearly defined milestones and the critical finances necessary to execute this grand vision,” they mentioned in a joint assertion.

“All in all, the NEP 2020 misses the fundamental goal of human development and expansion of knowledge,” they mentioned.

The Central authorities on Wednesday introduced sweeping reforms below the brand new schooling coverage that included instructing in mom tongue or regional language as much as class 5, reducing the stakes of board exams, permitting overseas universities to arrange campuses in India, a single regulator for larger schooling establishments aside from regulation and medical faculties and customary entrance exams for varsities.

The Congress leaders mentioned the timing of NEP in the midst of a pandemic when all academic establishments are closed is, in itself, questionable. More so when nearly the complete academia has complained of no session, the leaders alleged.

“On a policy that impacts and affects our present and future generations, even parliamentary oversight has been circumvented. Contrast this with the rigorous parliamentary and widespread consultation that preceded the Right to Education Act,” they mentioned within the assertion.

Former HRD Minister Pallam Raju mentioned “there are going to be severe challenges due to the over-centralisation of education sector”.

“While the intent seems to be there, there are serious shortcomings in the policy,” he mentioned.

“In the later stages also, we would like to question, what is the roadmap? What is the resource allocation? How do you plan to implement the broad ideal of universalisation? There’s an intent expressed about online education. But there is a wide disparity in the access level for online education; not only due to personal affordability but also in terms of the quality of connectivity. This will bring a large digital divide”.

Gowda, a former IIM college member, requested the place the cash goes to return from for funding the formidable plans. “Or is it going to come out of people’s pockets,” he requested.

“Any policy coming out of the Modi government must be assessed against its track record over the last 6 years, for example, the Delhi University. One of the first actions of this government was to abolish the 4-year programme in DU and now we’re turning back to it,” he added.

Surjewala mentioned the brand new coverage will stay a doc on paper because the required funds are usually not there, asking how does the federal government suggest to fill 12 lakh vacancies of college academics.

As per official information, he added, solely 10 per cent of presidency faculties within the nation have entry to computer systems and solely Four per cent have community connectivity.

“More than 70 pc children of marginalised sections may be completely excluded as seen during access to online classes in the Covid-19 period. This will also make the rural versus urban divide even stronger on account of absent or diminished internet connectivity/access to computers in the rural areas,” he alleged.

“There is no mention of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in the entire policy document. There is no discussion about these underprivileged sections who comprise of over 50 per cent of the country’s population,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the NEP’s professed goal of “critical thinking, creative independence and spirit of enquiry remains empty rhetoric as the BJP regime has systematically attacked universities, obliterated institutional autonomy and stifled freedom of expression among teachers and students alike”.

Alleging that an “atmosphere of fear, persecution, suppression and subjugation prevails as appointments of BJP-RSS ideologues to man educational institutions by sacrificing meritocracy, is the new normal”, he mentioned there are a number of examples on this regard the place there have been assaults on college students in campuses.

“Throwing well-established democratic structures for a top-down administration as envisaged by NEP 2020 will end up stifling creativity and critical thinking altogether,” he mentioned.

Setting up of Higher Education Commission of India as a single overarching physique will make it one of the vital centralised regulatory establishments, Surjewala mentioned.

“Needless to say, this will impede the evolution of higher education”. — PTI

 



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