Education 1

National Education Policy highly regulated poorly funded Manish Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia slammed the Centre’s new National Education Policy (NEP) on Thursday calling it a ‘highly-regulated’ and ‘poorly-funded’ education model, which has ‘only vision, no rules’.

While he termed the policy a progressive document, Sisodia also said it has left some key issues unaddressed. The AAP leader said that the new policy points out the flaws in the present system but is unable to break from the past. “NEP 2020 outlines a system full of regulations and inspections but no concrete commitment to funding. There is no mention or plan on how these reforms will be achieved”, he said.

“The new policy has a forward-looking vision; it accepts the flaws and challenges of our present educational scenario but has no roadmap of transition. The National Education Policy also is silent on how to bring in the much-needed reforms in education. The basic principles on which NEP 2020 is based are solid but it fails to articulate the next steps of implementation- connecting the present with future,” said Sisodia.

“The policy says 6% of GDP would be required for education. This was proposed by the Kothari Commission in 1966. This new policy is silent on how the required funds would be secured,” he said.

He said that at the state level, the policy includes a Commission, a regulatory body, a Directorate of Education, SCERT, and an Education Board which are supposed to cooperate. However, creating so many departments may lead to collision and blame game.

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He also said that the new policy is ambiguous about extending the Right to Education (RTE) Act to include all classes till the 12th. Currently, the RTE covers till the 8th standard.He also alleged that the policy is promoting privatisation of education.

“It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality education to children. In this policy, there is no direct emphasis on the government school system taking up this responsibility. Rather, it is encouraging private philanthropists,” said the minister.

While welcoming the move to rename HRD Ministry as Education Ministry, Sisodia said that merely changing the name will not give it a new vision.He also wondered when the National Testing Agency (NTA) is proposed to take care of all entrance exams, what is the need for board exams at all. The policy talks about curricular and extracurricular activities, but there is no concrete mention of sports which is vital to the overall growth of a child, he added.

“The policy is confusing. However, there is still time for us to fix it. This policy has been made for the next 20-30 years, let us not make a joke out of it,” Sisodia said.

‘Proposed ECE model discriminatory’

On proposal to bring Early Childhood Education under formal education ambit, Sisodia called it a progressive step but the model was discriminatory. “One set of children will be taught by Anganwadi workers, another through trained teachers. What kind of equity are we securing if we discriminate so early in the life of a child?”

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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