No party talks of quality & affordable education

No party talks of quality & affordable education

With elections round the corner, all political parties are gearing up to woo voters by showing their rivals in poor light

With elections round the corner, all political parties are gearing up to woo voters by showing their rivals in poor light. Allegations and abuses are flying thick and fast. Making promises and announcing freebies doles have become a familiar refrain.

But the irony is no one, whether it is the BJP which is going in for a hat trick at centre and is aiming to win 370 seats, or the Congress party which is groping in darkness, raking up non-issues, is not talking of strengthening the education system – and how. A good and affordable education is must to transform the country into Viksit Bharat by 2047; serious efforts must be made now.

TheBJPsays it has many important and revolutionary bills to be passed during its third term like uniform civil code. Fine but it would be better if it also takes up the issue of facilitating education in mother tongue at least till one completes high school. Many CMs, including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, claim that they had revolutionised educational system by changing medium of instruction to English. They seem to think ‘English Nahi tho Kuch Bhi Mumkin Nahi.’

Why can’t these leaders just look at countries like Japan, Germany, Russia, Korea, China etc? Are they not developed countries? All the latest electronic equipments, gadgets for surveillance, tools for AI, cars and luxury vehicles used by these politicians are mostly from these countries which impart education in their mother tongue, and education there, particularly school education, is not prohibitive as in India. It is time Modi-led NDA government focuses on such issues and ensures that education becomes affordable. That is the ‘Man Ki Baat’ of students and their parents Pradhan Mantri ji. Hope you are listening.

The problem is that education is included in the concurrent list which implies that both the Centre and the states can enact laws on the subject.

This gives leverage to states to oppose what the Centre proposes just because it is ruled by their rival party. We have seen this in regard to the National Education Policy. Lack of uniformity in education is the biggest drawback in India.

The BJP-led NDA should at least during its third term in power come up with a comprehensive uniform policy for the entire country to make education affordable to the common man. They need not break their heads too much for it. They only need look at and implement all the best recommendations made by various commissions on education starting from Radhakrishnan Commission (1948–1949) to NEP in 2020.

The Central government should come up with a policy draft, hold meetings with all the state governments on it, and arrive at a consensus so as to bring about a uniform system.

The first and foremost measure should be to do away with the menace of spending Rs 2 lakh if not more at the level of play school for admission.

Focus on quality education should be on the lines of gurukul system where emphasis should be on learning, not on mugging lessons and promoting Indian ethos and culture and protecting one’s mother tongue.

This does not mean that modern methods like digital classes etc., should not be there. The focus should be on putting an end to education which had become a money minting business. If Modi 3.0 can achieve this, it would be as great a measure as the abrogation of Article 370.

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