Popular Front seeks changes in Draft National Educational Policy

The Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India has sought drastic changes in the new Draft National Educational Policy released by the Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development, stating that it is a road map to an education system serving mainly the political and economic vested interests.
The meeting pointed out that while some of the key reforms recommended in the draft overburden the students some others indicates government’s intention to tighten its hold on education. The impact of the shift from present annual examination system to eight-semester system for students between 9th and 12th classes is a matter of concern. The academic working days are very less for these classes and the schools are already facing severe shortage of teachers. Without solving these issues, a change into semester system will overburden students.
The proposed Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog or National Education Commission to be constituted is going to be the supreme body to govern education. The constitution of this body is governed by political interests than academic interests. Only half of the members will be elected according to their eligibilities and the remaining members to be selected by the cabinet. The proposal of 50 % of the members of the committee from the parliament is a clear indication that the body will be highly politicized to suit the interests of the government in power.
The imposition of Hindi as a mandatory third language is also an undemocratic move. Hindi is not a language spoken by all in Indian states. The imposition of Hindi Language upon all language populations will damage the growth India’s diverse local languages and cultures. The most generous concessions granted for the entry of autonomous and private sectors are an indication of government’s withdrawal and colluded privatization of educational institutions. And such colleges are granted the freedom to decide the fees, course and curriculum. These reforms under the pretext of brining international quality will undermine the public education system and strengthen private boom, which ultimately lead to the exclusion of disadvantaged sections from the scene. While the draft emphatically discusses quality and merit, it conveniently ignores the constitutionally mandated reservation for the disadvantaged sections. ‘Mission Nalanda’ and ‘Mission Takshashila’ point to an irrational devotion to ancient wisdom rather than a scientific attitude. This urge to restructure higher education modeling on a tradition supposedly existed thousands of years ago is part of the regressive attempt to saffronise education.
The meeting called on the political parties, academics and students to resist the attempts to politicize, commercialize and saffronise our education system by the ruling class.
Chairman E Abubacker presided over the meeting, which was attended General Secretary M Mohamed Ali Jinnah, Vice Chairman OMA Salam, Secretaries Abdul Wahid Sait and Anis Ahmed, E M Abdul Rahiman and K M Shareef.