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Oppn slams Edu Policy, govt says ready to accept suggestions

Congress leader and former HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, while speaking on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, said the government was trying to impose its “ideology” as he asked it to “dump this draft in the dustbin” and “start afresh” by taking “us into confidence”.

Responding to this, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government was ready to hold a workshop for members of Parliament to take their suggestions on the draft policy before proceeding on it.

“This is only a draft...I have no hesitation in having a workshop... I can take the suggestions,” he said.

Sibal contended that there is no direction in the draft, arguing that 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 from governors, VCs, head of instituions or IIT directors, he said.

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.

Earlier, the suggestion for holding a separate workshop for MPs on education policy was made by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and was appreciated by Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.
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