Draft National Education Policy 2019 lacks goal of critical thinking, says MSF

MSF on NEP 2019

New Delhi, July 18: Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the student wing of the Indian Union Muslim League, said that the Draft National Education Policy 2019 lacks the goal of deeper understanding and critical thinking. A committee headed by Dr. K. Kasturirangan has drafted the Draft National Education Policy 2019, which was submitted on May 31, 2019 for public consultation. 

Draft Policy is badly written document, says MSF

The Draft Policy is a “badly written document which hides behind a plethora of terms that are half-understood” and “clubbed under the overarching master concept” of “skill”, the organisation further said. 

“In short, the policy lacks depth and loses focus of the richness of secular democratic ideals by aiming for 21st century skills,” the student body said.

“The vision of the draft NEP rests on UNESCO declarations and reports, rather than the Indian Constitution and development of democracy in this country; this in spite of wanting to make education India-centered,” the student body stated in a note released after a panel discussion.

Prof. Rajeev Gowda MP, ET Mohammed Basheer MP, Haris bin Zaman and Prof. Basheer Ahamed were the panelists.

Democracy or Secularism missing in policy

The Draft Policy lacks the ideals of Democracy or Secularism and their implication in “Democratic education”, the organisation remarked.

“Democratic education is an educational ideal in which democracy is both a goal and a method of instruction. It brings democratic values to education and can include self-determination within a community of equals, as well as such values as justice, respect and trust. Democratic education is often specifically emancipatory, with the students ‘voices being equal to the teacher’s. “Without proper Democratic education, we will continue to perpetuate bad democratic practices, allow unhealthy skepticism about democracy to grow and eventually imperil it,” it added.

National Education Policy 2019 proposals for including ethical and moral principles and values in school education are a departure from the existing model of secular education in India, the organisation said. It added that it breaches constitutional guarantee according to which “no religious instruction is to be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds (Article 28 (1)”.

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