Kerala: SFI, teachers' associations hold protest over Centre's new education policy

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala)[India], Nov 23 (ANI): Urging the Central government to withdraw Draft National Education Policy (DNEP), the Students' Federation of India (SFI) and various teachers' association held a protest in front of the Raj Bhawan here on Friday.

Condemning the draft policy, former MP KN Balagopal, in a release, alleged that the Centre was trying to "informalise" the primary education by bringing back the Gurukula system.

He added: "Various aspects of the draft NEP would bring about disastrous consequences in the education system."

"The Centre has started implementing some of its proposals before making it into a policy like giving special status to private universities, the introduction of fee hikes in various central universities like JNU, etc," Balagopal alleged.

The Draft National Education Policy 2019 is built on the foundational pillars of 'Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability.' A committee led by Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan has proposed to rename HRD ministry as the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The Committee also recommends the extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.

A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children: Foundational Stage (age 3-8 yrs): 3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2, Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5, Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8 and Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12.

The schools will be re-organised into school complexes. It also seeks to reduce the content load in the school education curriculum. It also promotes active pedagogy that will focus on the development of core capacities, life skills, including 21st-century skills.

The committee proposes for massive transformation in teacher education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation or education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.

The four-year integrated stage-specific BEd programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.

In higher education, a restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions is proposed: Focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching, focused on high-quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research, and high-quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.

Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new national institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) have also been recommended. (ANI)