Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address teachers and principals on Friday.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address teachers and principals on Friday.(PTI)

Govt receives15 lakh suggestions for NEP ahead of PM Modi’s conclave with teachers

The education ministry had sought the responses on mygov.in between August 24 and August 31. They have been submitted in a report, compiled by the education ministry and the IT ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Deeksha Bhardwaj
UPDATED ON SEP 10, 2020 01:53 PM IST

From concerns about infrastructure in schools to the ability of government schools to adapt to the new policy and access to Internet, the central government has received close to 15 lakh responses from teachers and principals “for better implementation of the National Education Policy”.

The education ministry had sought the responses on mygov.in between August 24 and August 31. They have been submitted in a report, compiled by the education ministry and the IT ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office. PM Narendra Modi is set to address teachers and principals on Friday.

According to a report accessed by Hindustan Times, the education ministry has received 14,62,365 responses from teachers and principals. The maximum number of suggestions came from Uttar Pradesh (11% of the total), followed by Rajasthan (10.76%), Karnataka (10.13%) and Tamil Nadu (9.08%).

“The exercise was done to spread awareness about the NEP and get responses from all stakeholders,” said an education ministry official. “In keeping with the concept of a participatory democracy, the draft NEP has been shared.” The official added that the ministry is assessing the responses received.

The majority of the suggestions — 5,88,457 — came on the topic, ‘Curriculum and pedagogy in schools: Learning should be holistic, integrated, enjoyable and engaging’.

This was followed by 1,99,666 suggestions on the theme, ‘Equitable and inclusive education: Learning for all’. There were also 1,61,981 responses on the topic ‘Early childhood care and education: The foundation of learning’.

The report also states that more teachers from private schools participated in the exercise. In all, 11,60,924 private schools and 3,60, 517 government schools offered suggestions. “Teachers from private schools have participated more in the NEP discussion as compared to government school teachers,” the report says.

It goes on to say that since India has a higher number of government schools, suggestions from them should have been higher or at least equivalent to private schools, but it was very low in the NEP discussion.

The report also notes that principals offered fewer suggestions than teachers.

The data shows that 14,09,843 teachers and 1,11,997 principals were part of the exercise.

“Suggestions from principals have been very less, which is again a concern as senior management should share their perspective too because they have more experience in terms of teaching and managing schools,” the report states.

It also singles out Kerala, from where only 11,000 suggestions were shared. “In terms of state-wise analysis, around 11,000 suggestions were shared from Kerala whereas it has one of the highest literacy rates in India, which means the potential was much higher but awareness about the NEP discussion wasn’t much in that state.”

According to a principal from Haryana who did not wish to be named, the Centre’s NEP lacks an understanding about the infrastructure capabilities of schools. “Starting vocational training such as coding at an early age is a good idea in thought, but in practice, there will be problems with arranging the technology for the students, especially the poor ones.”

The principal added no top down approach can work when it comes to education and a system must be holistically developed from bottom-up. “How will government schools be able to deal with the new curriculum,” said the principal. “They don’t have enough teachers at present.”

A teacher from a school in North India who also participated in the exercise said 60-70 per cent school teachers have no access to internet. “The population below the poverty line and non-urban areas will find it very hard to cope under the New Education Policy,” said the teacher on the condition of anonymity. “Teacher recruitment and training will be the key to bringing about the changes and that is what we have suggested to the government.”

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