Skip to main content

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."
Wondering how could the dream of universalisation of education be realised by stoking commercialisation, Ambarish Rai, national convener, RTE Forum, asked, at a time when government schools are closing down under various pretexts, how would the dream of universalisation of education will be realised? "There is a apprehension that the draft new policy will encourage commercialisation of education by favouring low-cost private schools”, he said.
Underlining the importance of consultation on NEP in this context, Rai said, “We agree that there is a need for NEP. It was due since long. The last national education policy came in 1986. And it was revised in 1992. Since then, significant changes of far-reaching effects have taken place both nationally and internationally."
"The most important among them are the advances made in the areas of technology, particularly information and communication technologies, which have a bearing on the kind of education that is most relevant and on the modality of providing such education", he added.
Addressing the gathering, Prof Muchkund Dubey, former foreign secretary, said, “A new education policy shouldn’t be adopted at the cost of or divert attention from the recent advances made in the realm of school education policy. The most important among them is the adoption of the RTE Act. Because of this Act, elementary education is now a fundamental right.”
Prof Dubey, who is also president of the Council for Social Development, added, “In any case, we cannot accept any dilution in the RTE Act. In the preamble as well as in the draft report, it is stated that in school education, India has pursued equity and access at the cost of quality. This assertion is not based on facts. We have to take into account attendance and dropout rates also.”
The assertion that India has encouraged equity and access to school education at the cost of quality is not based on facts
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Jagmohan Singh Rajput, India’s representative to the executive board of UNESCO, said that running away from existing problems won’t serve any purpose. Education is an area where we have to pay our utmost attention immediately. “We are not looking at education practically", he asserted.
"We will not reach anywhere without reforming our education system. In that context, we can’t overlook or ignore Indian tradition of gaining knowledge. Today, nobody is talking about academic leadership, which has been ruined over the years. It’s highly unfair that academicians had no significant say in formulating policies related to education in the past. Education had been left at the mercy of non – academicians, particularly bureaucrats”, Prof Raiput said.
“It’s imperative that the NEP should be formulated in such a manner that it encourages positive work culture and devotion to the nation. For this, reevaluation of curriculum after every five years is required,” he added.
Shatrughan Prasad Singh, ex-MP and general secretary, Bihar Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh, said, “Teachers are key component of education system. But it’s very sad that teachers are more engaged in non – teaching works than their actual duty of teaching."
He added, "In that context, we can praise this draft as it also discards non-teaching works for teachers. But in totality, this draft is lopsided. It keeps mum on a commission for teachers’ appointment. Such commission is very essential for ensuring teachers’ prestige. Commission for teachers’ appointment. Such commission is very essential for ensuring teachers’ prestige.”
Prof Poonam Batra of the Delhi University said, “The draft of the proposed NEP is full of positive notes. It promises for the extension of the ambit of the Right to Education 2009. It also talks about foundational learning. But in reality, it doesn’t prescribe any concrete positive mechanism for the ground. In fact, this draft encourages inequity in the field of education."
Others participants included Prof Anita Rampal, formerly at the Delhi University; Ramchandra Begur, education specialist, UNICEF; Prof. AK Singh, associate professor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration; Dr Neerja Shukla, former head, Department of Education of Groups with Special Needs, National Council of Educational Research and Training; Sanjeev Rai, adjunct professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Rampal Singh, president, All-India Parent-Teachers' Federation; and Dr Bhola Paswan, Bihar Arajpatrit Prarambhik Shikshak Sangh.

Comments

Rakesh Chaudhary said…
How u arrived at figure of 1 lac? Can u explainvthe source or u r also like Rafale Gandhi who just fire in air without Bullet?

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.