‘National education policy may take away States’ autonomy’

M.A. Khader alleges bid to centralise education sector
The proposal in the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 of the Narendra Modi government to develop “national textbooks” may take away the freedom and autonomy of States, M.A. Khader, former head, Curriculum group, National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), has said.
Speaking after opening a debate on the NEP here on Saturday, he noted that some of the key proposals in the policy might be aimed at centralising the education sector in the country. It says that the NCERT should develop “national textbooks” from which States could take core ideas and bring out their own versions. “The autonomy and freedom that the States now have in developing textbooks will be a thing of the past. A country like India, with diverse languages, cultures, practices, political systems and economy cannot have centralised textbooks. The curriculum is also going to be centralised, which is going to be the biggest drawback,” Mr. Khader said. The proposed three-language formula from pre-school level might not be practical, as children need to be taught subjects in their mother tongue initially. Primary school teachers would also find it difficult to teach so many subjects. Later, the students could take up another “classical language,” he said.
“There is a proposal to appoint national tutors and offer remedial instructional aims. In other words, the attempt is to appoint aides or volunteers in schools instead of teachers to help students improve their performance. This could lead to more students dropping out,” he pointed out. However, the dropout rates could be higher in government schools in rural areas, which would “perpetuate inequality.”
Mr. Khader also alleged that the draft policy did not have any proposal for the professional growth or development of teachers. It also proposed to have a Central agency to oversee the selection of teachers. “If there are more regulatory bodies, it will breed corruption,” he added. K.N. Ganesh, historian, and K.C. Ali Ikbal, educationist, also spoke. The event was organised by the Kozhikode Samskarika Vedi.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/draft-educational-policy-may-take-away-states-autonomy-expert/article28624003.ece

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