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

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.

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Sweden-backed study: India won't achieve 2030 UN goals, officials can't recognise SDG

By Rajiv Shah  A Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)-sponsored study, carried out by the advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) India, seeking to analyse the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12, Responsible Consumption and Production (RCP), has regretted, it is "very unlikely" India will achieve any of the targets of SDG 12 by 2030 "unless some serious measures are taken by the government to reverse the present trend."

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."