Opinions of the Minority Community about the Draft National Education Policy 2016

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We bring to your attention the Draft National Education Policy 2016 published by the MHRD, Govt. of India http://mhrd.gov.in/nep-new and the apprehensions of the minortiy community in general and Christians in particular.

A closer look at the new education policy reveals that

  • Yoga is to be made compulsory and facilities for the same are mandatory for educational institutions to get recognition
  • Sanskrit and Indian culture are proposed to be made mandatory in the curriculum.  Introduction of Moral values is also a veiled attempt to teach one particular religious book in value classes.

The preamble of the draft eulogizes the ancient patriarchal gurukul system, and praises the contributions of male hindu scholars of the past and of hindu leaders in modern India.

The draft does not give any credit to the immense historic and continuing contribution of the Church to education in Indian society. The Church has been making a very valuable positive impact to school, college and professional education through its thousands of institutions in the country.

The NEP 2016 policy mentions names of Gokhale, Ram Mohan Roy, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Gandhiji who worked for better education for the people of India but has ignored -

  • Sir Sayed who founded Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875  
  • William Carey who founded the Sirampore University and who was the inspiration to Raja Ram MohanRoy.
  • Inception of English Medium Schooling through the missionaries of the West.

History should not be distorted and the education system should not be communalized. The Government must be sensitive to the pluralistic multicultural, multi-religious context of the country, before imposing any centralized system of education for it to be truly inclusive.

The draft is ambiguous on its definition of Value Education. What is value education? What it should be? Values are the priorities which individuals and societies attach to certain beliefs, experiences, and objects, in deciding how they shall live and what they shall treasure. What is the basis of the Values that the Government is trying to introduce? Cultural? Religious? …??

The draft with its emphasis on governance and administration through a hierarchy of offices at state division, district, block and schools gives rise to the fear of the imposition of a centralized system of education which takes away the freedom and dynamism of minority-run institutions and individual schools.

The draft talks about introducing the study of Indian Culture. Again this is an open ended inclusion in the draft which can be used to introduce books of religious significance in the name and garb of Culture. To achieve social inclusiveness and national integration, curriculum should reflect the plural culture of India.

The minority community's views and apprehensions don’t seem to be taken into consideration while formulating the draft. The government must have a special consultation of intellectuals, academicians from members of minority community and with minority educational Institutions before finalizing the draft.

So, at a time when the fabric of the education system is being distorted we have signed this petition so as to ensure we have a well informed non based education system that would enable the next generation to make healthy choices.



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