Communities fear govt-proposed edu policy may infringe on minorities’ rights
A new education policy proposed by the government could infringe upon the rights of minorities, a host of institutions representing different communities have said, expressing fears that right-wing ideology may replace secular views in text books.
The institutions have raised concerns over reports on the BJP-led government’s move to impose yoga, Sanskrit and the ancient gurukul system of learning, saying that they will increase marginalisation of the Muslim community. They have also urged the government to include educationalists from diverse regions and communities for framing the final policy.
HT has copies of their inputs to the government.
The human resource development ministry had sought suggestions on a proposed education policy from all sections for framing the final document, which is aimed at ushering changes in the structure of education from primary to higher.
Opposition parties and minority organisations fear that the government’s move to change the education policy was a ploy to impose Hindutva ideology in text books, rewrite history to erase names of people the right-wing ruling alliance sees as conquerors and mass murderers.
Consultations on the policy started during the tenure of the previous HRD minister Smriti Irani. However, it courted controversy after some of the suggestions were found to be regressive by educationists. Her successor, Prakash Javadekar, restarted the discussion on by inviting suggestions from various political parties, educationists and institutions.
“The preamble of draft talks about Nalanda (700 BC) and then suddenly jumps to 1968. Why there is no mention of Muslim rulers?...,” the state minority commission for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh said.
The Chennai-based Muslim Higher Secondary School in Chennai said there was no need for a common national curriculum.
“(In a) country like India which has social, ethnic, cultural diversities, it is necessary to address these diversities in curriculum which a common curriculum cannot address”.
St Alphonsa English Medium School in Andhra Pradesh said the draft of the policy that has been put in public domain is creating insecurity and anxiety among minority.
“The draft of NEP-2016 does not recognise the contribution of minority communities in field of education,” it said.
A number of them have said that the proposed policy is creating a feeling of distrust and building up anxiety among minority institutions concerning their rights.
The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. The government is likely to appoint a committee headed by an educationist to draft the final policy document.