TN, Kerala, Maharashtra oppose NEP at AISF conclave

The ministers from the states who attended the programme said NEP not only threatened the federal rights of states, but also would exclude many from the ambit of education and encourage drop outs

Representative photo: iStock

The education ministers from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala have unanimously opposed the Centre’s National Education Policy (NEP), terming it to be unfair to a certain section of society who would end up being excluded from its purview.

The ministers made the statement at ‘Reject NE,’ a conclave convened by All India Students’ Federation (AISF) on Sunday, which called for students and teachers to unite and oppose the NEP, National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) and the Centre Universities Common Entrance Test (CUET).

Speaking at the event, Tamil Nadu’s higher education minister K Ponmudy said the provision of conducting a common exam for Classes III, V and VII in NEP, will increase the country’s dropout rate while the multiple exit options at degree level will force college students to leave courses mid-way.

Ponmudy reasserted the state’s objection to NEET and said it would also protest the CUET.

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Tamil Nadu school education minister Anbit Poyyamozhi who also attended the meeting, said the National Scholarship Portal was proof that the Centre plans to deny scholarship to students from backward sections under the pretext of monitoring their performance.

Terming NEP as a ‘national exclusion policy,’ Maharashtra’s minister for housing Jitendra Awhad said it was another ploy by the Centre to take away the rights of the states.

Kerala higher education minister R Bindu seconded Awhad on the charge of NEP being a threat to federalism, and said if implemented, it will affect the marginalized, as students will have vocational skills, but no education.

“Exclusion is a central feature of NEP and those excluded will have vocational skills with no sufficient education. It will affect the marginalized. Students who exit degree programmes with certificates and diplomas will never get any jobs,” she said.

Bindu, said the policy, on the other hand, would make education only accessible to the elites.

She said the policy, which makes no mention of reservation, was aimed at homogenizing education by ridding it of diversity.

“The role of the University Grants Commission would be reduced to that of a facilitator and onlooker rather than being a regulator. Kerala was developing an alternative people’s model for education through various initiatives,” she said.

Several resolutions were made at the meeting including demand to return states the right over education, a call for rejection of NEP, demand to make an alternative ‘people’s policy’ by recognizing education as a fundamental right, demand for the withdrawal of NEET and CUET and demanding President’s nod for the passage of the anti-NEET Bill by the Tamil Nadu government.

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