I urge readers to go through this piece and then read the two articles in The New Indian Express about the new education policy. The articles are:
- ‘Caste aside? many worries over New Edu Policy’ by Sushmita Ramakrishnan.
- ‘Draft NEP proposes a paradigm shift in education planning’ by J.Santosh.
It is not right for me to cast aspersions on the two writers. I don’t know them. Hence read this as an un-biased review of the two.
Sushmita’s article talks about why the word ‘reservation’ has appeared just once in the 484 page draft NEP document. She asks why elimination of caste has not been mentioned in the draft? She worries about addressing SC/ST education, quoting from the controversial Christmas Gandhi. She also quotes Prince Gajendrababu who questions the emphasis on vocational stream. Babu states that an emphasis on vocational streams would mean a potter’s son would be a potter while a singer’s son would only be a singer and deduces that this is an attempt to restrict the free flow of people from the supposedly lower echelons of trades to higher ones.
J.Santosh’s article compares the education policy of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who wanted a man-making education in the 1950s to a foreword by Prkash Javdekar on the focus of NEP on job skilling and meeting market demand. Santosh even questions why the policy is called Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, and the acronym RSA is being emphasised in the draft. He further has problems with the Prime Minister chairing the committee that would oversee the implementation of the NEP. A reference to Hitler’s educational policy is seen.
Nowhere in these two articles do I see the analysis on education. I fail to understand why a draft NEP should look at caste issues. If caste has not been solved in the last 75 years by Radhakrishnan’s educational policy, why should we continue to adopt that, rather than look at a new way of solving it? While the world in general and Singapore in particular (I am citing Singapore because I know what is happening there), are emphasising on Skills Future, Re-skilling the workforce and introducing newer streams of education to meet the demands of the 21st century where much of the human jobs are going to be taken over by BOTs and automation, what is wrong in Javdekar’s recommendation to ‘eliminate shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry’?
I am sad that both the writers have much to cover in terms of analysis, comparative analysis with what the world does and a wholistic approach to the NEP.
Again, I am not casting aspersions on the two writers nor concluding that they have written to suit an agenda. I would be happy if they write articles that look at the needs of the nation and see if the NEP addresses those rather than falling into the set retinue of leftist-dravidian-parochial trap.
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