To The Honourable Prime Minister, Government of India, New Delhi - 110001
You are aware that after independence, all the governments both at the centre and the states have been trying to restrict education on one hand and strip off the democratic essence and scientific content on the other. Millions of our brothers and sisters have been deprived of education due to skyrocketing cost of education. Superstitious beliefs, obscurantism and blindness are still prevalent in society. Hence, the education system in our country is in dire need of a complete overhaul for the introduction of a secular, scientific & democratic education system and universal education, the aspiration of our renaissance thinkers and uncompromising freedom fighters. However, it is deplorable that during the COVID pandemic, when the entire populace was in search of a solution to the painful predicament of losing access to education, your government came up with National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) without any democratic discussion and debate. We are shocked to witness that the recommendations of NEP 2020 will further destroy the last vestiges of university autonomy, scientific, secular and democratic aspects of our education system.
We feel that the all-out academic and administrative centralisation is aimed at distorting the content of education and making it a ‘global commodity’. The introduction of sugar-coated traps like Early Childhood Care and Education, shutting down of Govt. schools through the formation of school complexes, admission through the entrance test conducted by the National Testing Agency, Blended mode of teaching, Four-year degree courses and scope to pursue two degrees simultaneously will accelerate the ongoing commercialisation of education. Likewise, the introduction of vocational education from class VI, irrational Language policy, Semester system from class IX, Multidisciplinary approach with multiple entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credit will shatter the comprehensive learning in education still existing in our country. Abolition of MPhil, admissibility to PhD course after a ‘4-year Bachelor's degree’ and establishment of a National Research Foundation will destroy the research ecosystem in the country. Besides, the NEP 2020 unabashedly promotes obscurantist, unscientific, divisive and communal ideas in education by distorting history and science in the name of the ancient Indian knowledge system. In a nutshell, we are constrained to say that the NEP 2020 is nothing but a blueprint for Privatisation, Commercialisation, Centralisation, Vocationalisation and Communalisation of Education.
Hence, we strongly urge upon you to take the following measures so that ‘Education which had once saved Mankind can be saved and enriched further’.
1.Repeal National Education Policy 2020, lock, stock, and barrel and Save Public Education.
2.Ensure allocation of 10% of the Central Budget and 30% of the State budget for Education.
3.Fill up 11 lakh vacant teaching posts across the country on war footing. Appoint adequate number of permanent teachers & lecturers and non-teaching staff in all schools, colleges & universities.
4.Stop closure-merger of Government schools in the name of ‘School Complexes’, rather strengthen them.
5.Withdraw semester system in general education.
6.Withdraw anti-poor, discriminatory and undemocratic proposal to hold Common Universities Entrance Test and stop the encouraging the coaching centre business.
7.Stop executing NMC Act 2019 in medical education. Stop introducing an unscientific syllabus to the curriculum of medical education. Stop implementation of Competency-based Medical Education.
8.Stop rewriting history by wiping out the legacy of Renaissance thinkers and revolutionary freedom fighters.
9.Stop destroying the autonomy of universities and educational institutions. Allocate adequate amount of funds for research and keep research programmes free from political & economic interference.
10.Rollback the policy of gradually replacing ‘Classroom teaching’ with discriminatory ‘Online teaching’.