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New Draft National Education Policy has saffron tinge: panelists

New Draft National Education Policy has saffron tinge: panelists

New Delhi: ET Mohammed Basheer said that the new Draft National Education Policy seems to be made in a hurry and has a tinge of saffron. This was reported by Inquilab. He told this while addressing a seminar as a panelist. The other panelists included prof. Rajeev Gowda, E.T. Mohammed Basheer, Haris bin Zaman and prof. Basheer Ahamed.

members of the panel observed that the new Draft National Education Policy drafted by Kasturirangan Committee and submitted to the Union HRD Ministry on May 31 this year is in direct contrast to the prevailing National Policy on Education, 1986, which categorically stated: “All educational programmes will be carried on in strict conformity with secular values.”

They claimed that the National Curriculum Framework 2005 stated that among the social values within which we locate our educational aims, the first is a “commitment to democracy and the values of equality, justice, freedom, concern for others’ well-being, secularism, respect for human dignity and rights.”

As reported by the National Herald the panelists claimed that while the draft National Education Policy 2019 lacks the goal of critical thinking and deeper understanding on one hand, the omission of secularism as an objective in National Education Policy on the other hand is “frightening”.

 Muslim Students Federation (MSF) said in a statement after the seminar, “It is a badly written document which hides behind a plethora of terms that are half-understood and clubbed under the overarching master concept of ‘skill. In short, the policy lacks depth and loses focus of the richness of secular democratic ideals by aiming for 21st century skills.”

The participants of the seminar expressed apprehension that the Policy is designed to inject the majoritarian ideology of the ruling party into the educational system of India. They noted that the words ‘secular’ or ‘secularism’ are not found anywhere in the National Education policy.

In the statement they pointed out that this constitutes a departure from the existing model of secular education in the country and violates constitutional guarantee that states that “no religious instruction is to be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of state funds (Article 28 (1)).”

The panelists showed concern saying that the exclusion of Christian and Islamic traditions of India is consistent whenever moral instruction is discussed in the National Education Policy.

Adnan Abu Al Hija, Ambassador of Palestine to India attended the seminar as chief guest. Present on the occasion were IUML National General Secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty, P.V. Abdul Wahab, Navas Kani, C.K. Zubair, Adv Haris Beeran, T.P. Ashrafali, S.H. Mohammed Arshad and P.V. Ahamed Saju.

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