Even as the government has set the ball rolling for unveiling a new national education policy, Hindutva activist Dina Nath Batra’s Shiksha Bachao Andolan is firming up its recommendations to be submitted to the government later this year.
The Andolan hit the headlines last year for having author Wendy Doniger’s book on Hinduism pulped. While many see it as a part of the RSS constellation, Andolan activists insist they are independent of the Sangh.
Its activists believe the formal education system needs some key changes: A greater emphasis on Indian knowledge traditions and a blending of the material and the spiritual in the curriculum.
They have firmed up some preliminary ideas. “There is need for environmental education and our ancient texts have treasures of knowledge on this. How to make these insights relevant to concerns on global warming is a key issue,” Atul Kothari of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan told HT.
“Insights from Vedic maths can be used to make education in mathematics simpler. Useful Indian knowledge should be revived,” he said.
The new national education policy is likely to be unveiled by year-end. The government claims it is following a deliberative process in its formulation, inviting suggestions from state education ministers and also seeking opinions right from the grassroots.
Andolan activists see the coming months as hectic.
In May-end, they will brainstorm in Ernakulam in Kerala and also pass resolutions on what direction the education policy should take. They will also announce a campaign to promote Indian languages, which they see as another dimension of an indigenously-oriented education system.
The organisation has also put in place a Bharatiya Shiksha Neeti Ayog (Indian educational policy committee) to formulate its recommendations for the new education policy.
Kothari said that the education policy should ideally focus on two other aspects: education should be more “practical” and curriculums should have the ability to keep pace with fast-changing times.