Repeal the National Education Policy 2019 as it is against Social Justice
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To Whomsoever It May Concern,
The New National Education Policy 2019 Draft is feared to be a move to implement again, the Varna Based System of Education. This Education policy does not cater to the benefits of the Common People. India is a Union of several Ethnic Nationalities. Each Ethnic Nationality differs in their Culture, Economy, Social Lifestyle and Ecology. Hence the idea of One Nation One Education Policy is fundamentally wrong. Each State should be given it's right to define its Education Policy.
Inspite of having a 'Education for All' policy, several data shows that many cannot pursue education after 14 years of age. The Government does not allocate enough funds to provide even the basic facilities in Government schools. The policy decision to spend 6% of GDP on Education has not been followed by the government even once. The ugly truth is, more than 80% of schools in India do not even have proper toilets and restrooms.
Many Private schools do not follow the the Right to Education law of 2009. Instead of penalising and regularising such private schools, the government has allowed them to operate freely which run only targeting profits. As mentioned earlier, the government does not allot sufficient funds to provide basic amenities as prescribed in the already existing law. Its a flawed argument that without doing the above necessary steps, the standard of education can be improved just by framing a new education policy alone. Is it right to assess the quality of students, without spending even the prescribed minimum funds?
Inspite of having a 'Mandatory Passing' rule for students till the 8th grade, there are still a large number of school dropouts happening. This discontinuation of education is more prevalent among female students. Removing that 'mandatory passing' rule in these circumstances will only pave way for rise in child labour as it will increase the school dropout numbers, specially in students coming from rural and economically poor background. Are they perceiving children as machines by asking them to appear for public examinations as early as 3rd,5th and 8th grade? Finland, a country advanced in education is against the system of Public Examinations. In the Scandinavian countries, the government provides education predominantly without handing it over to private entities. Those countries do not have the system of entrance examinations or public examinations and children are made to join schools as late as 6 years. Whereas the new education policy calls for educating a child right from birth. Releasing a policy decision to conduct a public examination for a 8 year old child should be one of the worst examples of framing policies.
NEP draft recommends to close down smaller schools which have less than 30 students. This move will have adverse effects on the students from rural areas and tribal regions and will also bring down the literacy rate drastically. A HRD ministry report from last year highlights that 37.36% Government Schools enroll less than 50 students. Without trying to increase the student count and teacher count in those schools, Closing those schools abruptly will seize lakhs of students' chance of getting educated. It will also violate the rule of having one school every 3km.
It is not right to push a student into vocational training right after completing 8th grade. In a society which is not yet advanced in education, trying to indirectly force a student into vocational training at the age of 14 raises concerns and doubts and is seen as an attempt to bring back the Draconian Varna based System in a different name and form.
A Commission named RSA (Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog) will be formed to manage the Education Infrastructure for the entire Indian Union and this RSA Commission will be headed by the Prime Minister. If all decisions related to education in the entire Indian union shall be taken by this commission, does it not interfere and seize the rights of the State School Education Departments? This raises doubts whether Education has been moved from Concurrent List to Central List secretly.
It is also mentioned in the draft that 'Voluntary Service' method shall be applied for teaching in Schools. When there are so many exams and criteria for a person to become a teacher, how can a person without undergoing any of them be allowed to teach in schools? There is also the risk of many people with religious backgrounds entering the teaching space and propagating their religious fundamentalism to students. The Government should come out in open and clarify whether they are planning to handover the Education system and schools to RSS Religious fundamentalists by using the terms 'Voluntary Service' in teaching. This also raises another doubt if the Union Government has intentions to remove permanent teacher concept completely, by bringing in such 'Voluntary Service' methods.
It is an Irony that there is no mention of 'Reservation' system in the entire 488 pages of the New Education Policy. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar , the scholar who gave us the Constitution of India, fought hard to give the oppressed and backward classes their education rights through reservation. Reservation is the only system that establishes social justice in India. It is a social injustice to have avoided mentioning the reservation system in the new educational policy. We the people would like to question the government on how it promises development when the policy is framed in such a way to stop the majority of the people from getting higher education.
There also provisions to impose Sanskrit and Hindi in the New Educational Policy. For whose benefit is Sanskrit being imposed in states where literally no one speaks Sanskrit? Why should people's tax money be wasted in teaching Sanskrit? Reviving Sanskrit is Nothing but reviving Manu Shastra and Draining peoples money for it should be stopped immediately. It is mentioned that law institutes should teach Dharma and Adharma to students. How can Dharma/Adharma which is a system of birth based discrimination be placed in the education system of a country which is a Constitutional Democracy?
The new education policy also makes the Indian education system an open market for multinational corporates to invest and make profits in the name of Public-Private Partnership. Such a move will make education a commodity and be accessible only to the rich and inaccessible to the poor. Hence such Public Private Partnership provision should never be allowed.
The States should get back the Right to decide on the Education Policy. I request to drop the impossible idea of One Nation One Education policy through this letter. A system that does not have reservation will not bring about any change in the society. Lastly, I urge the Indian Union Government to revoke / take back the New Educational policy which is regressive in nature.
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