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Minorities and dalits ignored in the new education policy

New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) organised an advisory meeting and discussion on the proposed new education policy of the present government in Jamia Millia Islamia’s Nehru Guest House on 10 August. Speaking on this occasion IOS chairman Dr. Muhammad Manzoor Alam said that in the Preface of New Education Policy the present government has included topics like Yoga, Surya Namaskar, definition of ancient Indian culture etc which makes clear the government’s plan and intention of saffronisation of education. He said that we should all not only be aware of these but should also send such of our recommendations to government in which problems and sentiments of minorities and dalits should be kept in mind. He called upon every body among the audience to send their views and recommendations on the new education policy (to IOS) by 11 August so that these could be collectively sent to the government. In this meeting a 3-member committee was constituted to study and analyse different recommendations from intellectuals. Members of this Committee are IOS secretary general Prof. Z. M. Khan, IGNOU’s Vice Chancellor Prof. M. Aslam and national convener of RTE Forum Umbresh Roy. Dr. Manzoor Alam said that this Committee will study and analyse views of other persons and then will send its consolidated recommendations to union HRD ministry. He said that recommednations of this committee will also be sent to all secular minded members of Parliament so that they too could know and understand the educational requirements of minorities and backward classes people. He said that truly speaking, all members of Parliament in their individual capacity like such proposals and suggestions but they cannot differ from the party’s policy and stand. He also said that since this new educational policy has as yet not been finalised and is in the process of being framed, its finalisation will take time; in the meanwhile we shall organise four important meetings in different cities in which intellectuals and educated youngmen will also be invited to express their views.

M. Aslam, VC of IGNOU said that since education has not yet become universal and the standard of education is also low and the new policy lays emphasis on job-oriented education by inclusion of IT (information technology) in basic education, the real objective of education wil not be achieved. He said while speaking about the educational backwardness, particularly of Muslims, that we should make higher i.e. college and university education accessible to them so that their unemployment could be removed. Prof. Shoaib Abdullah of JMI’s Faculty of Education said that Dr. Kothari Commisison’s educational policy was very positive in the sense that emphasis was laid on the education of women and other backward sections but in the new proposed policy there is no mention of minorities and dalits. Also, there is no role of government in it and it aims at outsourcing and privatisation. Under such circumstances, industrialists will play greater role under this policy which means costly and technical / professional education.

Founder-Director of the Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, Dr. M. D. Thomas said that the proposed new educational policy is not based on ground realities and also does not offer any solution to today’s burning problems nor does it reflect the principles laid down in the Constitution. National Convener of RTE Forum Umbresh Roy was harsh on this and said that this third and new educational policy will take the country only to destruction. He said that the objective of education is to provide equal opportunities to all and a policy which is alienated from society is meaningless, adding that the role of private category or party is included in this policy because of which education will become a business. An educationist, Naaz said that all important problems are ignored in the new educational policy. He said that the points or problems on which greater emphasis is laid in the new educational policy will in no way promote education. Assistant Professor of JMI’s Education Department, Dr. Muzammil Husain Qasmi said that the new educational policy will entrust education to businessmen. He said that the present situation in villages is that 90 percent girls do not go to schools because schools are not in their village but in other villages. Moreover, he said that madrasa education is ignored in this educational policy. Another speakr, Dr. Syed Farooq, President of Tasmia Education Society said that we need such an educational policy which is not based on bias and prejudice against others thinking and way of life.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2016 on page no. 15

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