The Draft National Education Policy breaks constitutional structures and values, promotes commercialisation and politicizes educational system by centralising all aspects of it, says Students Islamic Organisation (SIO). The organisation said the policy must refrain from homogenising India's heritage as being representative of any religion or certain castes. The Ministry of Human Resource Develepment had released the Policy prepared by a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan for public consultation on May 31.
"If the policy intends to promote "Indian knowledge system", it should encompass all contributions from different religious, regional, and linguistic communities who are inalienable part of the Indian knowledge tradition," it said today while releasing here a report, "NEP - 2019: Analysis and Recommendations", prepared in collaboration with Centre for Educational Research & Training (CERT).
Instead of favoring Hindi or Sanskrit, according to the report, there should be a two-language formula, mother tongue and English, along with the option of studying a third language of either religious or cultural significance to the students as per Articles 29(1), 350A and 350B of the Constitution.
It also said the proposed centralised bodies such as RSA, NTA, NRF, etc., under one command are against the federal structure of Indian Union.
"Such centralised bodies under one command will inevitably fall prey to the political expediency of ruling parties. Education has been in the State List and in the Concurrent List since the 42nd Amendment and hence these bodies will be in gross violation of Constitution," it said.
The report said the policy takes a deeply contradictory approach towards the increasing commercialization of education in India and actively proposing a market model of education.
"The draft NEP betrays a homogeneous understanding of liberal arts education and has a market-oriented outlook for higher education," it said.
"The policy is entirely silent on the question of children in distress and conflict, such as children in conflict with law, children who have been victims of trafficking and child labour, refugee children, children of tribal, nomadic and migrant communities and children born and raised in prisons with their mothers. This betrays a scant lack of respect to the question of access of education as well as that of the substantive implementation of right to education for all, not just for a few," the organisation said in its report.
"The draft policy must be amended to include an unambiguous commitment to reservation in education. Reservation also must be extended to private HEIs, along with provisions for financial aid and reduced fees for students coming under the reserved category," the report asked.
The organisation said the Parliament must enact a legislation, to be named Rohit Act, to prevent systematic and institutional discrimination and atrocities against students of minority and marginalized sections in the educational institutions. "Violence against minorities and SC/STs must be criminalised and made cognisable offense," it said.
ET Mohammed Basheer, former Education Minister, Kerala and MP, Ponnani constituency; Syed Azharuddin, General Secretary, SIO; Prof Madhu Prasad, RTE activist; Ambarish Rai, RTE activist; Shyamolie Singh, student activist, JNU; Ramees EK, student activist, JMI and Syed Ahmed Muzakkir, Director, CERT were present during the press conference.
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