CPI On New Education Policy
The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India issued the following statement today (on July 30, 2020):
The RSS-led NDA government has approved the New Education Policy (NEP). The policy brings with it a fundamental change in the system towards creating education markets and away from ensuring universalisation of education through government schools and rejecting quality education to poor and socially disadvantaged sections of the society. In the absence of public-funded education this will take away the social justice whatever little it is there today.
Bypassing Parliament and undermining federalism, the central government is taking unilateral decisions to aggressively push through its neo-liberal agenda including in the system of education. This is going to have serious implications on the future and on the democratic polity of the country.
The NEP is an attempt to lead to total privatisation, commercialisation and over centralisation. The result will be higher fees, attacks on autonomy of universities and no permanent jobs in teaching.
The government will earmark six per cent of GDP for education. It was a proposal made by Kothari Commission decades back. Now there is a demand that the Centre should spend on education more than 10 per cent of the GDP.
NEP will lead to more privatisation, commercialisation under the management and control of Board of Governors. This is done to invite foreign universities as per WTO.
Also 50,000 educational institutions will now be converted to only 15,000 and all colleges with less than 3,000 students will either be closed or merged with others. This will lead to regional disparities in a big way.
Institutions like IIMS, IIT and ISC with single subjects will be closed and only multi-subjects’ institutions will be there. It will seriously hurt specialisation.
Study of social sciences will suffer because if there is no demand in market then it will be closed.
One positive element of NEP is imparting of education from three years of age to 18 years of age under RTE. Earlier it was till 14 years of age. The success of this is extremely doubtful considering the characteristic changes that are brought in the system.
CPI urges upon the government to have proper discussion on the policy in Parliament and also with the state governments which have the highest stake since education is on the Concurrent List.