Seminar on ‘New Education Policy’ organized
Chandigarh, October 31, 2020 : The Navi Umeed Foundation & Punjab Educationists Forum jointly organized a seminar at Kissan Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh on ‘New Education Policy’ (NEP) announced by the Government of India in July 2020. L.R.Nayyar, IRS, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Retired) and Working President of Navi Umeeed Foundation welcomed all the delegates. The proceedings of the seminar were conducted by Dr. Shinder Pal Singh. About 200 delegates participated in the seminar like eminent scholars; principals and school and college teachers, retired civil servants and many persons belonging to the civil society and the one belonging to various NGOs and Pressure groups working for public issues being faced by Indian society.
The NEP – 2020 is a comprehensive document, which covers the entire gamut of education activities – right from the Pre-elementary to the school and to the Higher / Professional / Research levels. The new education policy document adopts the objective of achieving equity in the society when it states; “The new education policy must provide to all students, irrespective of their place of residence, a quality education system, with particular focus on historically marginalized, disadvantaged, and underrepresented groups………” . It is true that any National Policy has to be flexible enough to be capable of adapting to the new environment especially in the present fast changing world environment; otherwise our nation will not be prepared to meet the new challenges. The seminar deliberated on the likely pros and cons of the implementation of the new education policy in the country. In the realm of the new education policy, Prof. Satwinderpal Kaur spoke on issues related to school education and highlighted various problems which would be faced during implementation of NEP . She said that the people belonging to various sections of society have been clubbed under one category known as Socio - Economically Disadvantaged Group (SEDG), which would create many implications for the students as they have specific problems. She further said the new education policy is violative of the rights of small kids and they would not be able to enjoy their childhood at tender age, if forced in formal education at the age of 3.
Principal Tarsem Bahia, a renowned educationist, discussed in detail the issues concerned with higher education. He remarked that the new education policy would encourage private business in education. Instead of promoting education, the NEP would demolish education. Shri Onkar Nath, Additional Deputy Controller & Auditor General, who retired from the constitutional office of the CAG of India, addressed the delegates on the likely impact of the implementation of NEP on various sections of Indian society at large. He stated that NEP would impact federal structure of Indian democracy and that it would also have adverse impact on the education of various sections of society including students belonging to rural areas, poor families especially SCs, STs and minority communities.
Moreover, the NEP would not be able to protect constitutional protections available to SCs and STS like reservation in education and jobs. Poor students would not be able to get admission in such private educational institutions because it would be very costly beyond their capability to afford. The education of girl students belonging to rural areas would also suffer as Government educational institutions are mainly located in such areas whereas privately run educational institutions would be mostly located in big cities. Dr. Manmohan Singh, IAS, who retired as Secretary Education in the Government of Punjab also expressed his views on NEP during the seminar.
Mr. J. R. Kundal, IAS, retired Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, who was the chief guest on this occasion, stated that new education policy would adversely impact the constitutional rights of the marginalized sections like SCs and STs and poor sections and that there will be adverse impact on Indian society when the education sector would be run and controlled by big private business houses under NEP.
He remarked very aptly that there is a ‘method in madness’. Some of the delegates present in the seminar recommended that this protest against the adverse impact of NEP needs to be taken at field level away from seminar rooms and students and various sections of the society should be involved in this fight as the education affects them all. Prof. Kuldip Singh thanked all the delegates for their participation in the seminar.