Welfare Party of India strongly opposed the National Education Policy 2020 passed unilaterally during the pandemic crises and demanded it to be rolled back.
National President of Welfare Party of India Dr SQR Ilyas condemned the BJP government in the centre for introducing National Education Policy 2020 in the country and said education is one of the fundamental right of every citizen but the new policy on education will disempower the poor and the marginalized and will pave way for privatisation and commercialization of education.
Dr Ilyas pointed out that the government is pushing RSS agenda of saffronisation of education through NEP 2020 as the new policy quotes ‘building upon India’s traditions and value systems’ and adds that the rich heritage of ancient and eternal Indian knowledge as ‘guiding light’ while the rich heritage of composite & plural culture of unity in diversity is feared to be distorted and ignored in this policy.
He said the BJP government has introduced the New National Education Policy which paves way for the restructuring of school education from the current 10+2 model to 5+3+3+4 covering ages 3-18 and renaming the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development to Education Ministry and added Education is in the Concurrent List in our Constitution. It is a gross violation by the Central government to impose a New Policy unilaterally bypassing the state governments, but involving those affiliated to RSS in the drafting process and added there should be thorough debates, discussion and deliberations in the parliament before any new policy is adopted.
Dr Ilyas said that the NEP 2020 focuses on centralisation of education with a National Assessment Centre which will completely redesign school-based assessment superceding the current assessment system and called it harmful.
Dr Ilyas pointed out that the new policy makes vocational training for students from class six which may force young children into the labour market, with their education adversely affected.
National President of WPI observed that the new policy talks about the universalisation of school education from 3-18 years, without making it a legal right under the ambit of RTE and pointed out that the new policy dilutes the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act passed in 2009 as
one cannot reason on the logic behind the new policy with no road map describing implementation & practicality of it in the nation.
Dr Ilyas criticised the government’s attempt to commercialise education through NEP 2020 which will widen the existing inequalities as the new policy will encourage the entry of private players in education in the name of philanthropic schools and public-private partnerships, inviting foreign universities, dismantling of the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), introduction of a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options, and discontinuation of the M Phil programme without consultation with the students and teachers organisations who are the stakeholders.
Dr Ilyas pointed at the proposal of the policy to put education under the apex body Rashtriya Siksha Ayog chaired by the Prime Minister violates the constitutional provision of federalism and is a dangerous design to centralize political control the education system and demanded that this must be revoked.
Dr Ilyas concluded by demanding the BJP government to immediately roll back the discriminatory National Education Policy 2020 and bring all inclusive, progressive, transparent education policy with an aim to transform society, involving all stakeholders to empower our future India and take it to new heights of progress and prosperity.