All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) vehemently criticises the National Education Policy (NEP) that has been approved by the union cabinet yesterday as a design meant for the all-out Privatisation, Commercialisation, Centralisation, Vocationalisation and Communalisation of education.
Sourav Ghosh, the General Secretary of AIDSO in a press statement has said, “The central government trampled down all the desired democratic norms, ignored the role of the states in formulating education policies, disregarded the opinions of the educationists, students’ & teachers’ organisations and also used the dreaded pandemic situation to implement its nefarious agenda. Since revelation of its draft, AIDSO has been telling that the NEP will have a disastrous impact on public education system in the country and open its door to ruthless exploitation at the hands of market forces, both global and domestic.
Implementation of 5+3+3+4 year education pattern, handing over the ‘crucial stage’ of 3 to 6 years children to the Aangawadi which is already on ventilator, bringing open learning in std. 3, 5 and 8 but on the other side keeping silent about the reintroduction of Pass-Fail system from class I, will jeopardise the total school education system . No hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities and no rigid separation of arts and sciences streams will destroy the formal teaching and learning process. Similarly, the conversion of the three-year undergraduate degree courses to four-year undergraduate degree courses with multiple entry and exit system is a step towards the commodification of Indian higher education in the global education market. The so-called ‘holistic multidisciplinary education’ will also be detrimental to the inculcation of comprehensive knowledge.
By constituting one single regulatory authority Higher Education Council of India (HECI), in its bid to have greater bureaucratic control over higher education system, the commercialisation of education will be further accelerated.
An avowed objective of the NEP, the ‘Digitalisation’ including online education, which is anti-poor, exclusive and discriminatory, in reality meant to accelerate centralisation process. When jobs are being curtailed drastically by the government, the vocationalisation of education, as prescribed by the NEP is to sell the dream of employment and is nothing but a hoax. Moreover, implementing this policy from class VI will destroy formal schooling and the very essence of the education.
The NEP speaks enthusiastically about Sanskrit language but talks about ‘fluency’ and ‘functionality’ of English instead of an in-depth study of the language. This disastrous design will be on one hand inimical to the inculcation of higher knowledge and will only serve to develop the bare minimum of communication skills required to engage in the market. The NEP has also called for self-styled Indianisation of education, which lists the promotion of obsolete ideas and customs as its objective and which is in reality, a comprehensive design for the communalisation of education and also will foster jingoism. Unfortunately, such provision under the NEP-2020 has been approved on 29th July, death anniversary of great renaissance personality Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar who for his whole life struggled to spread education. Hence, AIDSO calls upon the people in general and students in particular to reject the NEP-2020 lock, stock, and barrel and build up mighty mass movement to introduce a scientific-secular-democratic education system and universal education.