Covid- 19 has turned out to be an easy stage where without much discussion and time, anything can happen. The central government trampled down all the desired democratic norms, ignored the role of the states in formulating education policies, disregarded the opinions of the educationists, students’ & teachers’ organizations, and also used the dreaded pandemic situation to implement its nefarious agenda.
Implementation of 5+3+3+4 year education pattern, handing over the ‘crucial stage’ of 3 to 6 years children to the Aangawadi which is already on a ventilator, bringing open learning in std. 3, 5, and 8 but on the other side keeping silent about the reintroduction of the Pass-Fail system from class I, will jeopardize the total school education system. No hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular activities and no rigid separation of arts and sciences streams will destroy the formal teaching and learning process.
Similarly, the conversion of the three-year undergraduate degree courses to four-year undergraduate degree courses with multiple entries and exit system is a step towards the commodification of Indian higher education in the global education market. The so-called ‘holistic multidisciplinary education’ will also be detrimental to the inculcation of comprehensive knowledge.
By constituting one single regulatory authority Higher Education Council of India (HECI), in its bid to have greater bureaucratic control over the higher education system, the commercialization of education will be further accelerated.
An avowed objective of the NEP, the ‘Digitalization’ including online education, which is anti-poor, exclusive and discriminatory, in reality, meant to accelerate the centralization process. When jobs are being curtailed drastically by the government, the vocationalization of education, as prescribed by the NEP is to sell the dream of employment and is nothing but a hoax. Moreover, implementing this policy from class VI will destroy formal schooling and the very essence of education.
The NEP speaks enthusiastically about the Sanskrit language but talks about ‘fluency’ and ‘functionality’ of English instead of an in-depth study of the language. This disastrous design will be on one hand inimical to the inculcation of higher knowledge and will only serve to develop the bare minimum of communication skills required to engage in the market.
The NEP has also called for self-styled Indianisation of education, which lists the promotion of obsolete ideas and customs as its objective and which is in reality, a comprehensive design for the communalisation of education and also will foster jingoism. Taking the situation for granted, the choice to resist ceases away. But to be diligent about the policy is very important.