NEP 2020 Latest News: The National Education Policy 2020, introduced by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, definitely grabbed the attention of political leaders across parties. While most of them praised the efforts of the HRD Ministry for bringing in a potential reform to India’s education system, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called on the government for not introducing it in the Parliament first. Also Read - Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan: Tharoor Says Ram is Not Property of BJP, Can't Let His Name be Hijacked
A former HRD Minister himself, Tharoor welcomed the education policy in a series of tweets, highlighting that a number of suggestions made previously were finally taken into account. “However”, he said, “the question remains why this was not brought before Parliament first for discussion.” Also Read - National Education Policy 2020: This is How Ed-Tech Firms in India Aim to Grab The Digital Space
“For instance, the goal of 6% of GDP to be spent on education was first articulated in 1948! Every Govt articulates this target& then comes up against its own Finance Ministry. In the last 6 years, ModiGovt expenditure in education has declined in real terms. How will it reach 6%,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP asked the Centre.
“The goals of 50% Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education and 100% in secondary school are laudable, but when you realise it’s currently 25.8% in Higher Edn & 68% in Class 9, you wonder if such targets are any more realistic than the Govt’s solar-energy commitments at Paris,” he further grilled.
Pointing out the difference between aspiration and implementation, he said that the features of the policy required more “tangible and realisable targets” for research, the investment for which has grossly declined from 0.84% of GDP in 2008 to 0.6% in 2018.
“There are currently only 15 researchers in India per 100,000 of population, compared with 111 in China,” Tharoor said.
The Congress leader also said that while stressing over primary education, the NEP 2020 “glosses over” one of the main issues, “the desperate need for qualified and trained teachers in schools, of whom we have a critical shortage”.
“Placing the burden of pre-primary education on over-stretched, under-funded &under-equipped anganwadis is disastrous. Where will the additional resources come from,” he asked.
Tharoor said that the new education policy showcases a strong tendency towards centralisation and high aspiration without considering feasibility, resulting in “an unspoken assumption” that only private schools will be able to meet the challenges, “which will drive up costs and make many opportunities unaffordable for the poor”.
Notably, the National Education Policy 2020 aims to transform the country’s education system in a way that shifts from rote learning to retaining the “core essentials”. The idea will dominate school education starting from pre-primary to class 12 with the existing 10+2 structure in schools altered as the 5+3+3+4 pedagogical structure.
The new policy also emphasises on mathematics and computational thinking, besides mainstreaming Sanskrit to increase “knowledge on ancient India and its contributions to modern India”.