After decades, now the newly and second time elected BJP ledNDA government has brought a New Education Policy 2019 just after theirswearing ceremony. There have been two National Education Policies, in 1968,during the respective regimes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The NEP of1986 was revised in 1992 when P V Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister. Now ithas been proved that the NEP of 1986 had opened the flood gate of privatizationand commercialization of education and had converted the entire educationsystem into the market commodity. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh, or the BJP in itsoriginal form, was part of the 1977-79 Janata Party Government, which attemptedto draw up a policy in 1979, but it was not approved by the Central AdvisoryBoard for Education. In a way this is the BJP's second attempt of drafting theeducation policy.
And now after getting full majority in the General Electionof 2019, BJP has taken up the education first. The draft of NEP 2019 has 23chapters with 478 pages. The government wants to change the entire educationsystem but the time provided for submitting suggestions is very less. Just in aone month, how the grass root level discussions among all the section of commonpeople and all stakeholders is possible? It shows the real intension of thegovernment! New Education Policy – 2019 submitted by the nine-membered KKasturinangan Committee to HRD ministry will create a disastrous effect onIndian education and social system, if implemented. Why so much hurry if thegovernment really wants to provide quality education to all?
'Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog'
All the provisions of the draft will lead to thecommercialization and privatization of education. Here I just want to discussthe core point of NEP 2019. And it is about the Chapter 23 titled 'RashtriyaShiksha Ayog'. It aims synergistic functioning of India's education system, todeliver equity and excellence at all levels, from vision to implementation, ledby a new Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog. The Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog or NationalEducation Commission will be an apex body and it will be headed by the PrimeMinister. And this is the most dangerous and objectionable thing. It clearlymeans that the entire education system will come under the total governmentcontrol. The NEP has suggested that the Ministry of Human Resources andDevelopment will be converted into the Ministry Education. But by formation ofNational Education Commission, there will be no independent role of theEducation Department as our all educational institutions starting from schooleducation to higher education will come under the PMO as PM is heading thechair of National Education Commission. The Vice Chairperson of the NEC will bethe Union Minister of Education. It means that our ministers but not teachers, educationists,students, parents will decide our education.
Structure of NEC
• 20-30members includes Union Ministers, in rotation, whose ministries impacteducation directly (e.g. health, woman and child development, finance), as wellas a few Chief Ministers of states, in rotation, the Principal Secretary to thePM, the Cabinet Secretary, Vice Chairperson of the Niti Ayog, the senior mostsecretary in the Ministry of education and other such seniorbureaucrats/administrators as the government may deem appropriate.
• At least50% of the members will be eminent educationists, researchers and leadingprofessionals from various fields such as arts, business, health, agricultureand social work. Well, there is no mention of science's field in abovementioned list!
• Therewill be National Education Commission Appointment Committee consisting of thePM, The Chief Justice of India, the Speaker of the LS, the leader of theopposition in the parliament and the UME.
There are so many different provisions and sub committeesunder the NEC. Same provisions under the name of Higher Education Council havebeen already introduced in different states where the Education Ministers areheading the chair and controlling education in their respective states.
As per the draft, the NEC will be responsible fordeveloping, articulating, implementing, evaluating and revising the vision ofeducation in the country. If this draft will be finalized, then our educationalinstitutions and our syllabus will be full of irrationality, intolerancetowards other communities and unscientific thoughts. It will push our futuregeneration towards darkness. Already the BJP government has introducedbooks in primary education which has somany myths about scientific inventions in ancient India like plastic surgery,test tube babies, aero planes and what not! We have witnessed the Prime Minister propagating publicly unscientificideas, even in the forum of Indian Science Congress which had formed to fightout unscientific thoughts prevailing in common people. Eventually this willlead to a fascistic centralisation of the education.
The educationists from entire world have dreamt fordemocratic, secular and scientific education. "The University must be free fromexternal control over the range of subjects of study and methods of teachingand research. We have to keep it equally free from trammels in other directions
So there may be many golden words in NEP 2019 which canattract us. But it can never be tolerated that our universities and educationsystem will be caged by reactionary forces. Our education system must bedecided by educationists, professors, teachers, students, parents and neitherby any Prime Minister nor by any bureaucrats!
In that situation we are affected into different ways.Firstly, it is our duty to put historical truths in front of the people andsecondly criticize the history made up with political ideological intensions."So let us come forward before our schools and colleges get converted into theplace of spreading political agenda of hatred and thus save our society andfuture generations. It is the prime need of the hour.
Eventually this will lead to a fascistic centralisation ofthe education.
The writer is Vice chairman J&K RTI Foundation