Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday, 30 July, said that the National Education Policy 2020 is a ‘highly regulated yet poorly funded model’ while adding that it offers suggestions on ways to reform the education sector, without mentioning how exactly the plan would be implemented.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia, who’s also Delhi’s education minister, said that by setting up several regulatory bodies and agencies for monitoring school education, the government has created a system of high regulation in which agencies will clash with one another.
Sisodia further mentioned that although the NEP talks about spending six percent of the country’s GDP on education, it does not mention how this target will be achieved. He said that, “Unless a law is passed to ensure that six percent of GDP is spent by states and Centre on education, only a handful states will implement the policy.”
Elaborating on what he called a poorly-funded policy, Sisodia said that although the policy suggests free education under RTE from nursery to class 12, implementing the same has been left to ‘discussions in the future.’
“If you can’t say how this will be achieved, what was the BJP doing for the last six years? Funding is a big problem in education.”Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister
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Referring to a section in the NEP that makes it easier for both government as well as non-governmental philanthropic organisations to build schools, Sisodia said that the government is promoting private schools while ignoring the need to improve and develop government ones.
“Have you come out with a policy to encourage private schools at a time when people are losing jobs?” asked Sisodia.
Taking on the NEP’s focus on vocational education in school, which includes internships in the sixth grade, Sisodia said that the government has failed to respect such practical learning experiences as they are not counted during admissions to the Delhi University.
“They are talking about vocational education now. But have they accorded the right respect to vocational studies? Why will a student opt for vocational students when DU does not acknowledge them in its admission process?”Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister
Sisodia said that at a time when the world is moving away from Board exams, the government’s decision to retain these exams shows how the NEP 2020 has fallen under the weight of the same old approach to formulating educational policy.
“Why are you conducting board exams when a common test will be held for college admissions?” he asked.
Sisodia said that while most universities in the country like Jamia, BHU, IP and others offer multi-disciplinary courses, some like DTU and IITs focus on specific subjects.
“By making it mandatory for every university and college to be multidisciplinary, the policy is making a mistake. We need both multi-disciplinary and specific universities,” he added.