Tamil Nadu should reject the provisions of the National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020 that were not in consonance with the federal structure, social justice and equity, said a statement by 100 educationists and civil society representatives, addressed to the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
‘NEP 2020 demolishes the federal character of India by promoting centralization, by controlling all decision-making from ECCE and primary education to higher education, including professional education. This cannot be countenanced,’ the statement said.
Since the State had progressed well in education, the Assembly should adopt a resolution demanding transfer of Education as subject to List II in Seventh Schedule under Article 246 of the Constitution of India (as was the case in the original Constitutional scheme), the statement said.
‘As is known, originally education was a state subject in the Constitution. In 1976 (during Emergency) by 42nd Constitution Amendment, it was shifted to the Concurrent List (List III under Article 246),’ the signatories of the statement explained.
Implementation of NEP 2020 would usurp the constitutional right and duty of the State and Union Territory governments to frame their own policies and programmes or enact laws concerning education, as per the needs and aspirations of the people of the State, the statement said.
Even before the State government had decided on the policy issue relating to the NEP, teachers, who are employees of the government, had been asked to give suggestions on it, the statement pointed out and said the Union Secretary writing to the School Education Secretary even before the policy was placed before Parliament was a serious violation of the federal structure of India.
The signatories, including People First chairman M G Devasahayam, coordinator Thomas Franco, former vice-chancellor Vasanthi Devi, former high court judge Hariparanthaman and educationist Prince Gajendra Babu, urged the State government protect the rights of the state, uphold parliamentary democracy and carry forward the social justice measures.
Expert committee on school education for NEP appointed
The State government has appointed a 13-member committee led by the principal secretary of school education to offer recommendations for implementation of National Education Police (NEP) 2020.
The committee consisted of five IAS officers, who are Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, Pooja Kulkarni, G Latha, Kavitha Ramu and C Munianathan, according to a government notification.
The other members are Akila Radhakrishanan of UNICEF, N Panchanatham, VC of Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University, A Jothimurugan, former VC of Thiruvalluvar University, R Balsubramanian, Pro vice chancellor of SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Mariazeena Johnson, chancellor of Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, R Elangovan, Retired Director of School Education, Sundaraparipooranam Pakshirajan, former member of Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection Commission and V K Jeyashiri, a school teacher who won the Sahitya Academy Award for translation in 2019.