The Draft National Education Policy or DNEP is against the vision and the provision of the Constitution of India, says Student Federation of India (SFI), a left wing student body. The organisation also said the language and the structural changes that it proposes "is as per the provisions demanded in the General Agreement on Trade in Service (GATS) under World Trade Organisation (WTO)" and 'WTO treats education as a commodity and if Education and Health are handed over to the market forces, social justice measures cannot be fully implemented'.
The recently released DNEP is prepared by Dr K Kasturirangan Commission and the government invited the public and civil society participants to submit their inputs by July 1.
SFI said the DNEP fails to recognise the social and educational backwardness of the large section of Indian Society.
"The DNEP talks only about merit and not about the denial of educational opportunities to millions of people in India for centuries together. There is no proposal in DNEP to ban all forms of labour during the childhood," the organisation said.
It also criticized the Draft Policy by saying 'regional imbalances in economic development and connectivity, poor access to education for children belonging to socio-economically marginalised groups are not considered'.
According to SFI, the DNEP proposes to continue the push towards, privatisation, saffronisation, centralisation and commercialisation of education.
"Article 246 is violated when the DNEP proposes a Central regulatory Authority to regulate all State Universities," it said while saying "a central regulatory to regulate all universities is to alter the basic structure of the Constitution of India".
SFI also said the DNEP push for the administrative, academic and financial autonomy is a move towards privatising public higher education and reducing the financial responsibilities of the State in funding higher education.
National Education Policy: Other major criticisms by SFI
- The suggestion to co-locate anganwadis- re-schools with primary schools will limit access for children from rural and tribal areas.
- Combining Secondary and Higher Secondary and treating them as a 4 year secondary course with flexibility in choosing subjects and option to appear for Board Exams whenever the candidates wishes to appear are not to help the child.
- Introducing vocational education at 14 years of age will allow the child to withdraw from mainstream education.
- Allowing multiple Board of Assessment (BoA) in private sector apart from state and Central BoA and permitting the school to choose the BoA is to slowly allow the market to do the assessment of students.
- The semester system for classes 9-12, flexibilization of the Board examinations across the last "8 semesters" of school, and the introduction of the concepts of assessment, accreditation, and autonomy in the schooling system poses a serious threat.
- The Proposal in the DNEP regarding Teacher Education and Teaching profession is aimed at discouraging the disadvantaged from pursuing the profession.
- Grading of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) as Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4 HEI, allowing the colleges to issue Degree and asking the colleges to merge with their affiliating university if they do not meet standards required, are aimed at demolishing the strong public education system build over years based on social justice principle.
- The vocationalisation of education is not for the social development but to provide semi-skilled, cheap labour for market.
- The 6% GDP and 10% on Budget Expenditure over a period of time is most inadequate.
- Frequent mention of Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropist, Social Service, etc is to make the students be at the mercy of individuals or corporate.
- A policy that fails to establish the Common School System based on Neighbhourhood School is an unjust and undemocratic policy.
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