Terming the recent statement by the Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar to roll back NEP from next academic year “regressive,” Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday slammed the decision of the state, asking them to “not play politics.”
“I want to tell my friend Shivakumar that your statement is mischievous, regressive. NEP is not established in 2023 but 2020… envisioned by the educationists of this country. This is not a political document, it’s a philosophical document for the 21st century. What kind of message do you want to give to the youngsters of the country?,” the Minister told The Indian Express.
Shivakumar had earlier said that the Karnataka government had decided to “scrap the National Education Policy, which has been adopted by the BJP government. Next year, we are coming out with the new Karnataka Education Policy,” Shivakumar had said after a meeting at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office Monday.
He was seconded by the Chief Minister of the state. “The BJP has sacrificed the interest of the students of the country by implementing NEP for the first time in the state without implementing it in the country,” Siddharamiah said Monday.
Questioning the decision’s rationale, Pradhan asked if the state didn’t want to be a recipient of the features NEP had proposed.“Do they not want the students of Karnataka to avail the option of multiple entry and exit in higher education institutions… Do they not want our teachers to be capacitated to the 21st century? Do they not want our children to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by the time they complete grade three?” he said.
“Do they not want students to learn about new emerging technology of the 21st century… Do they not want an education which is multidisciplinary giving equal emphasis to science, language, social science, arts and sports… Do they not want examinations like NEET, CUET, JEE to be conducted in Indian languages…,” he further asked.
“Let politics take its own route, but we should not play with the future of our young generation,” Pradhan said.
The Congress had promised to roll back NEP as a part of its electoral promises in the Assembly elections earlier this year. The government is said to have been planning to form a committee with school and higher education department representatives to come up with a State Education Policy for Karnataka.