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- News Letter
Summary of the Draft National Education Policy 2019 and Suggestions by JEASA
Submission from the JEA Office on the DNEP 2019
Jor Bagh New Delhi 110 003
31th July 2019
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal
The Hon’ble Minister, Human Resource Development
Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi
Ref: Submission in response to DNEP 2019 from stakeholders of the Christian community.
Honorable Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal,
The Draft in Gist
The National Education Policy 2019, is the new face of the Indian Education system. Drafted under the guidance and the chairmanship of K. Kasturirangan, this policy undertakes various new ideas aiming to make the Indian Education System stand out from the rest of the globe. The draft Education Policy 2019 has been prepared by the drafting committee, as it claims, after taking into consideration all aspects including the suggestions by eminent personalities and different groups and organisations. We appreciate the hard work of all the members to produce such a lengthy document which contains all details relating to school education, higher education etc. However we would like to make some suggestions to further improve the document.
This policy focuses on areas of school education, higher education, culture building and transforming education. This new addition to the Education system is built on the foundational pillars of ‘Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability. & The main focus areas of the National Education Policy, 2019 are:
For School Education
1. In school education, a major reconfiguration of curricular and academic structure with early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an indispensable part of school instruction is proposed. The Committee also prescribes the expansion of Right to Instruction Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.
2. A 5+3+3+4 curricular and academic structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional formative stages of children: Foundational Stage (age 3-8 years): 3 years of pre-primary also Grades 1-2, Preliminary Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5, Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8 and Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12.
3. The schools will be re-organized into school complexes. It too seeks to decrease the content load within the school instruction curriculum.
4. The policy emphasis on children learning three Indian languages from 1 st to 3 rd standard. Also, the policy recommends that the students should be taught in their home language till 5th standard and any foreign language (including English) will be considered as 4th language.
5. There will be no hard partition of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc., will be a part curriculum
6. It also advances a dynamic instructional method that will center on the advancement of core capacities, life skills, including 21st-century abilities.
7. The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a not for profit activity.
For Higher Education
1. The committee proposes for enormous change in teacher education by closing down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher arrangement or education programs into huge multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
2. The four-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed. the program will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
3. In higher education, a restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions is proposed: Focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching, focused on high-quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research, and high-quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.
4. This will be driven by two missions — Mission Nalanda and Mission Takshashila. There will be re-structuring of Undergraduate programs. For example, BSc, BA, B Com, B Voc of three or four years of duration and having multiple exits and entry options.
5. The four functions of Standard setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies: National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as the only regulator for all higher education including professional education,creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC, professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC)
6. Several new policy initiatives for promoting the internationalization of higher education, strengthening quality open and distance learning, technology integration at all levels of education, adult and lifelong learning and initiatives to enhance participation of underrepresented groups, and eliminate gender, social category, and regional gaps in education outcomes are recommended.
For Transforming Education
1. The committee has proposed to rename HRD as Ministry of Education (MoE).
2. A new apex body, Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog, is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and the States.
3. Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new national institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation(IITI) have also been recommended.
4. Establishment of a National Research Foundation: A new NRF will be set up through anAct of Parliament, as an autonomous body of the Government of India, to fund, mentor, incentivize, and build capacity for quality research across the country in all disciplines, primarily at universities and colleges, both public and private.
5. Setting up of a new National Educational Technology Forum for enhancing educational access and improving teaching, learning and evaluation process.
6. Integrating vocational education into all schools, college and universities.
Suggestions by JEASA
Jesuit Education Association of South Asia (JEA) is an umbrella organization of All the Jesuit schools in South Asia, mainly in India. Jesuits are pioneers in educational reforms all over the world. We are a Universal Order that contributes best of our abilities to the education of the world. A Jesuit education is a well-rounded education. Growth in faith and an understanding of God's purpose in our life go hand-in-hand with our personal development in other areas. At a Jesuit school or college or University we believe an education is more than "book learning." Jesuit education is modern, progressive, adapting to the changes in the society for making contributions to science, literature, culture, language, and everything that is positive for the integral growth of the child.
Since, we are in the field of education, it is apt that we appreciate the initiative of the government in reforming our education in India and also responding to the Draft National Education Policy 2019 for bettering it.
We, in JEA, congratulate the Chairperson of the NEP, Shri K. Kasturirangan and his team for attempting to give a holistic outlook to the needs and challenges mentioned in the education policy. The policy tries to situate school education in the present context and proposes a vision to make school education responsive to the challenges of modern times. In other words, NEP tries to touch every aspect of education and proposes urgent action.
As soon as it took office in 2014, the NDA Government initiated several steps to evolve a National Education Policy (NEP). Throughout its Five year term it could not announce the NEP. Now, it has come to power for the second consecutive term. And the first measure of the Modi government is to release the DNEP 2019. The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 (DNEP) although signed on 15th December, 2018, was released on the 31 May, 2019. The reason for not releasing it immediately was not explained. The 484 page document was placed in public domain in Hindi and English and the people were asked to respond in 30 days i.e., on or before 30th June, 2019. Later on it extended one more month for accepting suggestions from individuals and groups.
We Request the MHRD for more time to study and place a studied response.
We would like to ask the government to extend the date to another 6 months more for a proper studied response from all. Education is the foundation of any society. Therefore, a policy cannot be done in a hurry, without having a proper deliberation and discussion by all.
Even without translation, how will the Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Naga and people speaking other Indian languages will be able to read, discuss and respond.
The Government of India must translate the DNEP fully in all Indian Languages and after translation must give at least six month time to respond.
On reading this DNEP, it is clearly understood that the TSR Subramanian Committee Report and “Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy, 2016” formed the basis for this DNEP. The Draft Policy of 2016 was rejected by the people! It is painful to note that none of the concerns expressed by various organizations and individuals on the earlier document was addressed in the DNEP.
The DNEP is not placed on the Premises of the Constitution of India. DNEP is against the vision and the provision of the Constitution of India. The language of DNEP and the structural changes that it proposes is as per the provisions demanded in the General Agreement on Trade in Service (GATS) under World Trade Organisation (WTO). There is a consistent demand that the Government of India must withdraw the offers in Education and Health sector given to the WTO.
The Government of India must clarify its position on WTO-GATS. The progress made in the negotiations and commitments given so far. WTO treats Education as a commodity, unless India pulls education and health out of the negotiation in WTO, providing access to global financial market in education and health cannot be prevented. If Education and Health are handed over to the Market Forces, Social Justice Measures cannot be fully implemented.
DNEP is silent about the caste, which is a discriminatory social order. DNEP fails to recognise the social and educational backwardness of the large section of Indian Society. The Social oppression faced by the depressed communities and the difficult living condition of the tribal communities in different part of India. Simply coining the term URG for deprived classes is not acceptable.
DNEP must have spoken about the progress made or not through education in eradicating untouchability, social oppression and realizing the vision of the Constitution of India i.e. to establish a society of equals.
It is good to bring back the Indian tradition of the University of Takshashila and Nalanda but if we follow now the then system of higher education, our products will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. This has to be look into with utmost care. Institutions who sell their degrees should be penalised and closed. Stringent action against fake universities and colleges should be taken and such fake institutions should be close down.
Professional education should be encouraged and moved from mechanical learning habits to creative and innovative learning habits.
Encourage foreign language in secondary schools as this will encourage the students and help our system to supply our products from our education institution to work in overseas. Choice of foreign languages i.e. French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese etc by the secondary students should be encouraged at the school level.
Quality teacher training institutions should be allowed to exist to supplement the Government institutions as there is insufficient number of trained teachers in our country and the gap is too large. Private B.Ed colleges should be allowed to exist and the fees structure should be commensurate with the quality of education they give. Govt. must ensure the academic quality is maintained in all the institutions.
Choice of foreign languages i.e. French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese etc by the students should be encouraged at the higher education institutions with good incentives and scholarship. This way our productive human capital creation or formation will improve tremendously in our country.
In the Draft we find a serious lack of social concerns. When there is absence of concern for social development in DNEP, there is concern expressed about the “return” for investment, employability, global need, international mobility of students and faculty. While there is absence of concern regarding the less number of Dalits and Tribal in Doctoral or Post Doctoral Research, there is much concern to provide fellowship / scholarship for foreign students.
Violation of the spirit of the Constitution of India
Various proposals in the DNEP are against various provisions the Constitution of India. Article 14 is violated when a child of affluent section is having facility to attend the school of its choice but the child from disadvantaged community has no other option except to travel down to a school Complex. School Complex is to close thousands of Government and Government aided school that is in need of resources to develop. Again, Article 14 is violated when all the Indian Languages are not given equal importance and one particular language is given more prominence and special provisions for its development. Article 15, 16, 21 are violated when the Life with Dignity could not be assured by making special provisions for the socially and educationally backward classes of citizen in admission, research fellowship, appointment and promotion in higher education. The DNEP talks only about merit and not about the denial of educational opportunities to millions of people in India for centuries together. There is no proposal in DNEP to ban all forms of labour during the childhood.
The Federal feature of the Constitution of India was explained to the Constituent Assembly by the Chairperson of the Drafting Committee Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on 25th of November, 1949. He said,
“A serious complaint is made on the ground that there is too much of centralization and that the States have been reduced to Municipalities. It is clear that this view is not only an exaggeration, but is also founded on a misunderstanding of what exactly the Constitution contrives to do. The basic principle of Federalism is that the Legislative and Executive authority is partitioned between - the Centre and the States not by any law to be made by the Centre but by the Constitution itself. This is what Constitution does. The States under our Constitution are in no way dependent upon the Centre for their legislative or executive authority. The Centre and the States are coequal in this matter. It is difficult to see how such a Constitution can be called centralism. The chief mark of federalism as I said lies in the partition of the legislative and executive authority between the Centre and the Units by the Constitution. This is the principle embodied in our constitution. There can be no mistake about it. It is, therefore, wrong to say that the States have been placed under the Centre. Centre cannot, by its own will alter the boundary of that partition.”
The 13 Judge Constitutional Bench, Largest Constituted Bench, of the Supreme Court of India in the year 1973 in the Kesavananda Bharathi case held that Federal Character of the Constitution is the Basic Structure.
Article 246 is violated when the DNEP proposes a Central regulatory Authority to regulate all State Universities. Entry 44 under List 1 in Schedule VII states about the Union not having power to regulate a University and Entry 32 under List 2 in Schedule 7 clearly states the power of the State Government to incorporate, regulate and wind up the University. A central regulatory to regulate all universities is to alter the basic structure of the Constitution of India. Indian Constitution is based on the Federal Structure. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had held that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered. If a central authority under the Prime Minister is empowered to decide all matters concerning Higher Education, the Federal Spirit of the Constitution of India is lost. It is usurping the powers of the State Government. National Education Commission i.e. RSA is against the Federal Rights that the Constitution had given to the State Governments and State Legislatures.
Bringing Pre Primary under Formal Education, Census exam at the end of Grade 3, Grade 5 & Grade 8 are against the interest of the child. There can never be a National Bench Mark to assess the learning outcome of the child. The diversity in Landform, Climate that results in cultural diversity demands assessing child with its cultural background. Combining Secondary and Higher Secondary and treating them as a 4 year secondary course with flexibility in choosing subjects and option to appear for Board Exams whenever the candidates wishes to appear are not to help the child. In the tender age it will be difficult to choose subject. A child developing interest in the subject depends on various factors that includes environment and approach of teaches. Introducing vocational education at 14 years of age will allow the child to withdraw from mainstream education. Allowing multiple Board of Assessment (BoA) in private sector apart from state and Central BoA and permitting the school to choose the BoA is to slowly allow the market to do the assessment of students.
Having spoken about such student friendly flexibility, it is said that Secondary Board Scores will not be considered for Higher Studies. Students are supposed to appear for aptitude test to be conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA). Coaching Centres will exploit the students, leading to disappointment and anxiety. Such an exam is to allow the students from disadvantaged group to withdraw by themselves.
The Proposal in the DNEP regarding Teacher Education and Teaching profession is aimed at discouraging the disadvantaged from pursuing the profession. Grading of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) as Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade3 and Grade 4 HEI, allowing the colleges to issue Degree and asking the colleges to merge with their affiliating university if they do not meet standards required, are aimed at demolishing the strong public education system build over years based on social justice principle. The proposal to treat both Public and Private on par is the level playing field that is demanded in WTO. When the Constitution of India makes provision for discrimination to emancipate the oppressed community, how can the Public Institution specifically established on the principle of social justice are treated on par with private who will spend only when they earn.
The vocationalisation of education is not for the social development but to provide semi skilled cheap labour for market.
The National Education Commission and State Education Commissions should consist of more experts in the field of education and research. More of these experts have to be included as members in these Commissions.
Even though the framers of the new policy want to transform our education system in the country, from the draft policy, there is no real transformation which we could foresee in the true sense of the term. The policy as a whole proposes to produce dependents and job seekers. In the past and at present, we continue to produce mostly job seekers from the schools and higher educational institutions. The policy should address this issue of educated unemployment by striking a balance between the job seekers and job creators while producing the products from different schools and higher educational institutions. This will enable the country to solve the problem of unemployment which is increasing day by day. That way we will be able to transform our education system in the country for the better future of our youth and save the country from the burden of unemployment and future wastage of human resource or human capital which is idle or unproductive due to unemployment.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is to provide fellowship for doctoral and Post Doctoral both for Indian and foreign Students based on Merit and not based on Principle of Reservation based on Social and Educational Backwardness.
The 6% GDP and 20% on Budget Expenditure over a period of time is most inadequate. Before the full financing proposal becomes operational almost all Government and Government aided colleges would have faced their natural death. Frequent mention of Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropist, Social Service, etc is to make the students be at the mercy of individuals or corporate.
There is scope for arbitration and tribunalisation when disputes arise among various stake holders. This creates apprehension that the Courts which are the guardians of Constitution of India will be kept out when the issues arise. To exhaust all channels and then come to the court is not an easy journey. Justice delayed is Justice denied.
The DNEP quotes 1968 policy when it talks about the three language formula, but, it is silent about Common School System of the same 1968 policy. The three language formula is a farce. The child is burdened and made to spend time to learn an another language when it needs time to spend on other subjects, The Words “Possible” and “Preferable” when talking about Mother Tongue as Medium of Education and that too only till Grade 8. Mother tongue is not guaranteed till Post Doctoral. But, the Student is asked to learn any one Indian language even in Post Doctoral. It is nothing but to thrust a particular language.
A policy that fails to establish the Common School System based on Neighbhourhood School is an unjust and undemocratic policy that has to be rejected.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar , in his Memorandum of Grievances of the Scheduled Castes dated 29th October, 1942 states as follows:
“… What will help the Scheduled Castes is education of an advanced type in Science
and Technology. But it is obvious that education in Science and Technology is beyond the means of the Scheduled castes and this is why many of them send their children to take up courses in Arts and Law. Without Government assistance the field of Advanced Education in Science and Technology, will never become open to Scheduled Castes, and it is only just and proper that Central Government should come forward to aid them in this connection.”
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar speaking in the Bombay Legislative Council stated,
“Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone, the policy, therefore, ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possibly be made. If all these communities are to be brought to the level of equality, then the only remedy is to adopt the principal of inequality and to give favoured treatment to those who are below level”.
The Call of Jothiba Phule, Savithriba Phule, Shaheed Bhagath Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, Chavara Kuriakose, Thanthai Periyar, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Fr. Jerome D Souza SJ, Maulana Azad and Dr. Abdul Kalam is “Education must be made Accessible to All and Affordable to All”. DNEP is far away from this call.
We suggest the following to add to the Draft Policy:
- Have a Global outlook in teaching joyfully. Today we need a global perception in our education. We need to network with others who are on the same path as ours. India cannot be narrow-minded in this globalised era. What students want in our education is to learn in a joyful manner, as human beings. We must make our education pupil friendly with a lot of innovative and joyful ways of teaching learning. Towards this teacher training programmes and seminars must be part of the school programme. Innovative ways of teaching, like Delhi schools in adopting Happiness classes is an example.
- Using Technology for better teaching: Technology is a boon to human life today. A proper use of it can work wonders. Whether we like it or not it is the medium that changed the world. In our education we must utilise this medium to teach well and effectively. It is a great aid for our teaching learning and therefore, must be used properly to reach out fast, better and effectively. Technology does not reduce the important role of teachers, it only enhances it. They say “Google knows everything, but only a Teacher knows me”!
- Environmental concerns: The world we live in faces the severe ecological crisis. There is large scale exploitation of environment all over the world that threatens the entire existence of life itself on this earth. It is good to take up the following major environmental problems in our class room discussions.
- Pollution: Pollution of air, water and soil require millions of years to recoup. Industry and motor vehicle exhaust are the number one pollutants.
- Global Warming: Climate changes like global warming is the result of human practices like emission of Greenhouse gases. Global warming leads to rising temperatures of the oceans and the earth’ surface causing melting of polar ice caps, rise in sea levels and also unnatural patterns of precipitation such as flash floods, excessive snow or desertification.
- Overpopulation: The population of the planet is reaching unsustainable levels as it faces shortage of resources like water, fuel and food. Population explosion in less developed and developing countries is straining the already scarce resources. Overpopulation is one of the crucial current environmental problems.
- Natural Resource Depletion: Natural resource depletion is another crucial current environmental problem. Fossil fuel consumption results in emission of Greenhouse gases, which is responsible for global warming and climate change. Globally, people are taking efforts to shift to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, biogas and geothermal energy. The cost of installing the infrastructure and maintaining these sources has plummeted in the recent years.
- Waste Disposal: The over consumption of resources and creation of plastics are creating a global crisis of waste disposal. Waste disposal is one of urgent current environmental problem.
- Climate Change: Climate change is yet another environmental problem that has surfaced in last couple of decades. It occurs due to rise in global warming which occurs due to increase in temperature of atmosphere by burning of fossil fuels and release of harmful gases by industries. Climate change has various harmful effects but not limited to melting of polar ice, change in seasons, occurrence of new diseases, frequent occurrence of floods and change in overall weather scenario.
- Loss of Biodiversity: Human activity is leading to the extinction of species and habitats and loss of bio-diversity. Eco systems, which took millions of years to perfect, are in danger when any species population is decimating.
- Deforestation: Our forests are natural sinks of carbon dioxide and produce fresh oxygen as well as helps in regulating temperature and rainfall. At present forests cover 30% of the land but every year tree cover is lost amounting to the country of Panama due to growing population demand for more food, shelter and cloth. In many parts of the country people encroach forests and destroy for agriculture. Regular fire incidents also threatening the green forests. Big industrial and corporate companies destroy the forests in large level in our country.
- Ocean Acidification: It is a direct impact of excessive production of CO2. 25% of CO2 produced by humans. The ocean acidity has increased by the last 250 years but by 2100, it may shoot up by 150%. The main impact is on shellfish and plankton in the same way as human osteoporosis.
- Ozone Layer Depletion: The ozone layer is an invisible layer of protection around the planet that protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. Depletion of the crucial Ozone layer of the atmosphere is attributed to pollution caused by Chlorine and Bromide found in Chloro-floro carbons (CFC’s). Once these toxic gases reach the upper atmosphere, they cause a hole in the ozone layer, the biggest of which is above the Antarctic. Ozone layer is valuable because it prevents harmful UV radiation from reaching the earth. This is one of the most important current environmental problems.
- Acid Rain: Acid rain occurs due to the presence of certain pollutants in the atmosphere. It is a known environmental problem that can have serious effect on human health, wildlife and aquatic species.
- Water Pollution: Clean drinking water is becoming a rare commodity. Water is becoming an economic and political issue as the human population fights for this resource. One of the options suggested is using the process of desalinization. Mindless Industrial development is filling our rivers, seas and oceans with toxic pollutants which are a major threat to human health.
- Urban Sprawl: Urban sprawl refers to migration of population from high density urban areas to low density rural areas which results in spreading of city over more and more rural land. Urban sprawl results in land degradation, increased traffic, environmental issues and health issues. The ever growing demand of land displaces natural environment consisting of flora and fauna instead of being replaced.
- Public Health Issues: The current environmental problems pose a lot of risk to health of humans, and animals. Dirty water is the biggest health risk of the world and poses threat to the quality of life and public health. Run-off to rivers carries along toxins, chemicals and disease carrying organisms. Pollutants cause respiratory disease like Asthma and cardiac-vascular problems. High temperatures encourage the spread of infectious diseases like Dengue, which is found every year in India now.
- Genetic Engineering: Genetic modification of food using biotechnology is called genetic engineering. Genetic modification of food results in increased toxins and diseases as genes from an allergic plant can transfer to target plant. Genetically modified crops can cause serious environmental problems as an engineered gene may prove toxic to wildlife. Another drawback is that increased use of toxins to make insect resistant plant can cause resultant organisms to become resistant to antibiotics.
Laudato Si by Pope Francis is an eye opener to all of us. As educators, we must heed to the cry of the environment and act upon to protect our Home (Eco).
- Lack of Animation by those in charge of our institutions.
In the modern world, Indian institutions will have to be run professionally and not in any way. We need to provide adequate facilities, training skills to the teachers and to the leaders, evolve a proper and workable system of administration, which is free from personal approach to decision-making or administration. We need to make a legible mark as valued educational institutions when many others who are coming in strongly and even aggressively into this field. Every day, every teacher should ask himself/herself, how many hearts of the students he/she has touched. This is the core of education and this approach will make a lasting impact on the students whose heart we are able to touch in some ways (Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam). We need to create this culture among all the teachers, particularly in the leadership.
This needs a radical shift from Administrators to Animators. The Draft Policy 2019, in our opinion is more of centralised administrational, or bureaucratic document than academic animation.
- Schools for Healthy for an Environment free from Abuses.
Indian Education must commit to create a Safe and Healthy Environment for all. Our schools and colleges must promote and guarantee environments free from any form of abuse. All govt. and private run schools must have this policy in place.
- Inter-religious Education
We see Religious and communal harmony in India is in jeopardy. Education is the path to follow in this critical situation. Most schools and colleges have some time set apart for value education. That may be an ideal time to introduce the students to themes of harmony between religions. We must address in schools topics like the sources of violence, the manner of overcoming ignorance and prejudice, the search for a common ground, and the way of dialogue. The Draft National Education Policy must include Inter-religious education on a priority basis.
- Global Citizenship Education:
The Draft Policy must go beyond India Centred Education to a global education, preparing Global Citizens. A visionary programme must be integrated into the core curriculum. We earnestly urge the government to make Indian education must be committed to Global Citizenship This means preparing students and their families to identify first and primary as members of the human family with a common responsibility for the entire world rather than just members of a particular nation or group.
Our Insitutions must be encouraged to to establish connections, partnerships and relationships around the world. Our schools have to be built-in security, confidence, safety, local knowledge and established presence. This will require our schools to live in the creative tension between being locally and globally rooted and aware. We want our students to recognize, value and celebrate their local community, tradition and culture, and at the same time, be able to communicate, work and identify with others as members of our global community.
- Constitution and Human Right Education
As the previous Commissions and National education policies suggested, we need to base our education on the foundation of Indian Constitution and Human Right education. For an Indian, the Constitutional principles are the foundation. Therefore, we suggest here to the MHRD to take this suggestions seriously and prepare modules and text books on Constitutions, Democracy and Human Rights.
- Allot more fund (GDP) to Education
Every commission from Dr. Radhakrishnan to Mudaliar to Kothari to 1986 Policy to RTE had asked for more funds (at least 6%). However, our experience is that the successive Central governments overlooked these suggestions and in fact reduced the funding of late to a meager 2.7%. We suggest to the Ministry to get more GDP allotted for education, if reforms have to take place.
- Have an Inclusive Character of the Indian Nation
There arises urgent need for bold and clear affirmation of the inclusive character of India. We do not forget the composite culture of India, which includes all sorts of diversity. Tribals, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and others are all integral part of this inclusive India. Even agnostics and atheists are part of us. This solid bed-rock of our nationhood cannot be disintegrated in any way. Majoritarian domination cannot be good for the nation. Stability and progress of our Motherland depends on the type of education we provide for our children. Therefore, Pluralism and Unity in Diversity of our Constitution must be our basis. Too much of stress on ‘nationalism’ will lead the nation to a jingoistic crowd than an enlightened citizenry.
Today we are experiencing the extraordinary phenomenon of globalization: instant communication; rapid transportation of people and goods throughout the world that create, simultaneously, unprecedented ties and disruptions— economic, cultural, political, ecological and spiritual. Globalization has brought benefits to many. For example, online education is now available in many remote and impoverished communities; in the scientific community, tracking data and sharing results have helped protect some of our most endanger species. We have challenges plenty, but every challenge is an opportunity for us. All these challenges vary from socio-political, cultural and spiritual, technological and professional, ecological and ideological realms. However, they give us ample opportunity to be creative, innovative and think differently to make Indian education more integral, critical, innovative and meaningful. DNEP 2019 must include many good suggestions from educators and avoid that which is ideologically blinded with. A serious, research based, critical outlook have to be prevailing in our schools and Higher education Institutions. That has to start from the Commission report itself. Otherwise it will be another retrograde policy for Indian students who are the future of the nation. Only understanding the challenges will give us opportunities to face them proactively and effectively with creative action plans. This is the need of the hour today. We expect that our suggestions will be accepted in true spirit and incorporate the same in the draft National Education Policy 2019 for the benefit of our children and youth of our beloved country.
Sunny Jacob SJ, Secretary, JEASA, New Delhi 110 003, firstname.lastname@example.org,