Academicians in NE divided over new edu policy

GUWAHATI: Academicians have welcomed the National Education Policy (NEP), calling it a milestone for transforming education, even as some questioned the readiness of the state governments to implement the newly framed policy.

Premier technology institute, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G), in a statement issued to TOI said that the new education policy is a landmark step towards reforming the overall education sector of the country and would transform India into a knowledge hub.

“Besides incorporating the ethos of Indian Philosophy right from early schooling, it has also incorporated Sustainable Development Goals which IIT Guwahati has been promoting and has already made it a part of its curriculum at the undergraduate level and has been the first institute in the country to do so,” read the statement.

Moreover, it said that the goal of allocating 6 percent of GDP on education, entry of foreign universities in India and setting up a National Research Foundation will provide tremendous boost to education sector as well as research and development in the country.

IITG has started a “Center for Indian Knowledge, Sanskrit and Yoga” which is in line with NEP 2020. Welcoming the NEP2020, IIT-G director Prof. TG Sitharam, who closely followed the NEP 2020 event said,“These reforms in the education sector were long awaited and are likely to transform India into a global education and research hub if implemented carefully. It takes into account the changes happening across the country right from the foundation till the student reaches a professional level and several other important objectives of inclusive education”.

Sanjay Dutta, academic registrar of Cotton University, said that education will become more flexible now and students will get an exposure to research works even before becoming a graduate. “In the four-year degree programme after Class 12, the research component will be there and this is a positive move in NEP,” he said.

He also welcomed that more emphasis given on vocational education in the school level will give a new dimension to the education sector and the needy students will get a clear opportunity to pursue vocational studies since the initial years. “Integrated BEd, endorsed in NEP, will help in producing quality teachers. Now those, who are willing to become school teachers, will have to decide about their career choice after schooling. This will help them in acquiring the qualities of good teachers since early years,” said Dutta.

But some academicians were critical about the implementation of such drastic changes at one go. University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) chancellor M Haque said, “NEP proposes bringing A to Z changes of the administrative and academic setup at one go. There are massive changes in academia starting from the elementary to PG and research level. This is not going to be easy to implement.”

He said that in a diverse region like the northeast, catering to the multilingual needs of the students is going to be a big challenge without streamlining the language issue.

“There must be a proper mechanism of implementation in terms of administrative pattern. Framework of implementation of NEP in the grassroot level is missing, otherwise it would have yielded a very good outcome,” Haque added. He said that without infrastructural upgradation, it is difficult to transform the scenario in the government schools which are lagging far behind, especially in northeast.

Noted academician Dinesh Baishya said, “The government is making public and private institutions at par which is commercialization of the whole education system. The modular system in education will increase the drop rate, as many poor and middle class students will conclude their formal education with a certificate before getting a degree.”

He criticized the decision to open the Indian education to foreign universities. “NEP is a big threat to marginalized students who won’t be able to go for expensive education. Regions like NE, where the education system is yet to develop, will be worst affected,” Baishya said.

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