Visakhapatnam: Minority institutions oppose DNE policy

Irked by push given to Sanskrit, yoga, Vedic education.

Visakhapatnam: The Draft National Education Policy-2016 has irked minority educational institutions as well as minority groups who have claimed that it would spearhead the saffronisation agenda in educational institutions. They are objecting to the draft policy encouraging Sanskrit, Vedic education, and yoga in schools and not exempting minority institutions from the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Some of them alleged that the policy is indirectly aimed at promoting Hindutva ideology.

Senior advocate and legal adviser for several minority educational institutions, I.M. Ahmed, commented that the DNEP went against the Constitutional provisions guaranteeing equality for all citizens.

“Already the literacy rate among certain minority groups is very low. Now, the government promoting their agenda in educational institutions could put the education system in danger. There are still great inter-state and inter-country discrepancies in literacy achievements as well as student performance. The new policy should help bridging these gaps,” Mr Ahmed added.

Drafted by a committee headed by former Cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, this is the third National Education Policy after the ones released 1968 and 1986 respectively. While some proposals of the DNEP mandate the minority institutions to provide 25 per cent seats to economically backward students, other proposals hint at introducing Vedic mathematics, Yoga and Ayurveda in the curriculum and encouraging Gurukul-style education.

District Christian Chamber of Commerce and Industry convener Oliver Rayi said it was very unfair to lay emphasis on a particular language and beliefs of a particular religion.

“Giving equal importance to all religions is quite vital for any new policy. Otherwise, it could pose a threat to the religious harmony between people of the country. We are going to hold a meeting with all the minority institutions in Visakhapatnam on September 10 to discuss the DNEP,” he added.

Principal of a Christian minority college commented that the DNEP could snap the autonomy of the minority institutions by bringing them under the purview of the RTE Act. “The DNEP has already sparked a string of controversies. Until now, we are allowed to establish and administer educational institutions based on our own set of rules, beliefs and languages. Now, the DNEP would challenge our autonomy of recruiting the staff and evaluation process of students. We demand the government to draw members from all communities, and regions into the committee for framing the education policy,” he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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