Opposition today rubbished the draft National Education Policy as it alleged in the Rajya Sabha that the government was trying to communalise and commercialise the education system by forcing its “ideology”.
Congress leader and former HRD Minister Kapil Sibal asked the government to “dump this draft in the dustbin” and “start afresh” by taking “us into confidence”.
Contending that there is no direction in the draft, he said the document does not talk anything substantive about three important aspects–quality, access and equity.
“Education is ideology neutral. No education system can survive in the world if you infuse ideology in the textbooks. And the problem is, while we have a draft education policy, what you do on the ground is just the opposite,” he said.
“You are trying to bring about a change in the education system outside your education policy by bringing ideology in every institution in India,” he added.
Targeting the government over attacks on minorities and SC/STs, Sibal recited a couplet: “Shaktiman (horse) ki laat todi, Vemula hi himmat, jo chatron pe vaar kare kaise hogi woh sangat (you broke the leg of Shaktiman horse in Uttarakhand, demoralised Rohith Vemula, how would be the party which attacks students?).
“This is what you are doing to my country. You are attacking the minorities, attacking tribals, you are attacking the SCs, STs and you are saying that you will change the textbooks of history,” Sibal said, addressing the ruling side.
Alleging saffronisation of higher education, he said: “You say in draft that universities should be politics-free. But what are you doing to universities? Your ABVP is entering into every university campus, occupying Vice Chancellor offices and creating an environment of violence, running a parallel administration that’s what you are doing on the ground.”
The governement has saffornised every post in the country from governors, VCs, head of instituions orIIT directors, he added.
On making the education policy better, he advised the government to formulate it keeping in mind the children of the country.
“Make yourself see from the eyes of a child, then you will understand what he or she wants. And that’s how you can have an education policy which serves 20 crore children of our country,” Sibal said.
Come up with something which serves long-term interest of the country, he added.
“Let some real educationists and bright educationists head the committee. Let them have full consultations with the states. Let’s get together as education is more important than anything else,” Sibal said.