“Don’t play with future of children”, says Dharmendra Pradhan on Karnataka's decision to scrap NEP

Dharmendra Pradhan alleged Karnataka deputy CM is opposing education in Kannada language which is being provided under the National Education Policy.

Dharmendra Pradhan calls out Karnataka ministers over decision to scrap NEP (Image Source: Official Twitter Account)Dharmendra Pradhan calls out Karnataka ministers over decision to scrap NEP (Image Source: Official Twitter Account)

Vagisha Kaushik | August 22, 2023 | 04:34 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Commenting on Karnataka’s decision to scrap the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and bring up its own education policy, union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked state leaders not to play with the future of children and appealed to stop doing politics on education. Recently, Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar announced that the state will come up with a committee for the state education policy within a week.

Talking to the media, the education minister said that Shivakumar’s facts are wrong and his statement is mischievous and regressive. “It’s not looking towards the future,” he said.

Pradhan, first of all, clarified that NEP has not been implemented from 2021 but 2020. “It’s a visionary philosophical document and is envisioned by the educationists of the country. It’s not a political document but a philosophical document for the 21st century,” he commented on Shivakumar’s remarks about the NEP document.

Also Read | Karnataka will scrap NEP; committee on state education policy within a week

Pradhan asked the minister what kind of message he wants to give to the youngsters of the country, especially the youth of his own state. “What kind of politics is he doing,” the union minister asked.

Attacking Karnataka deputy CM and chief minister Siddaramaiah on their decision, Pradhan asked, “Do they not want the early childhood education and care system to be implemented in Karnataka from the age of 3? Do they not want localisation of Indian toys, games, and play-based learning of our children?” He especially mentioned if they don’t want the regional “Chennemane” plays to be taught in the early stage of education of students in Karnataka.

Education in regional languages

“Do they not want our children to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by the time they complete grade 3?,” he added. He aggressively asked if the state ministers oppose education in Kannada language which is their own mother tongue. The union minister alleged that Shivakumar is opposing education in Kannada language which is accommodated in NEP.

Further talking about the various provisions under NEP, Pradhan asked if they don’t want their students to learn emerging technologies and if they don’t require new relevant textbooks. He questioned if they don’t want multidisciplinary education focusing on science, social science, arts, sports subjects, integrated vocational education for their children and national-level exams such as Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), and Common University Entrance Test (CUET) to be conducted in Indian languages including Kannada.

Also Read | UGC to grant foreign degree equivalence; restricts online, distance mode degrees

Mentioning the introduction of National Research Bill, Pradhan said, “Does Shivakumar want to debar Karnataka students to avail world-class research facilities?” He further asked if he doesn’t want the students to earn and learn, have skill-based education, and get the opportunity of multiple exits in higher education.

Lastly, Dharmendra Pradhan appealed to DK Shivakumar, “Let politics take its own route, but we should not play with the future of our generation.”

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