‘India is in for a historic transformation’ say many people. They claim that the changes envisaged in the New Education Policy would propel and make India to become the ‘knowledge centre’ of the world. This is more a dream than reality given the inherent dangers of this obviously flawed policy.
The policy brings in a school system of 5-3-3-4 in place of present 10+2. The school education system in practice now has duration of 12 years; the new one makes it 15 years. An addition of 3 years to the existing method is bound to be a severe burden on the shoulders of the unaffordable parents who are quite large in number in India today.
It is said in the draft policy that the enrolment ratio in school education is dwindling every year starting from 1st standard. The fall has been steady over the years and has not seen any significant change as yet. The percentage of enrolment as given in the draft says it all.
1st std – 5th std = 95% 6th std – 8th std = 90% 9th and 10th std = 79% 11th and 12th std = 51%
Why is there a steep fall? The reason is simple. Parents have not been able to bear the burden of education beyond a certain period of time. When this is the situation at ground level, the new policy unilaterally extends the duration of school education by 3 years. Is it really prudent? Will it reduce or increase the sufferings of the parents in affording education to their children? Policy makers want us to believe that it is a reformist plan. It is simply an inexplicable ‘innovation’ that takes our common sense to dizzy heights!!
As said earlier, New Policy stipulates 5-3-3-4 system that brings a 3 year old child under formal education system. This is highly condemnable. How can a ‘welfare’ State throw off the rights of the children to stay and be with their parents? Do not the children in India have any right at all?
If parents decide to send their children to play schools or Anganwadis, they are doing it on their own. But now the government makes it mandatory and pushes children into a formal, universalized system of education. It is a direct, blatant infringement of the rights of the children. How can a democratic republic government ever do it?
If anyone moves the Court against the plan over the rights of a Child, I am sure, the proposed plan is, in all probabilities, bound to be struck down. Are the authorities really aware of any such thing called ‘the rights of a child’? It is shocking that even the human rights activists are maintaining a stark silence over the issue.
Leave alone the legality part it has many other dangers that are very grave and detrimental to the children and to the society at large. To force children into a formal set up and to expose them to ‘universalisation’ would instantly kill the abundantly rich ‘individuality’ in them. What a precious loss to all of us!
To separate the children from a family set up even for a few hours is but ‘alienation’ and is bound to have its adverse impact on them. What sort of psychological ill effects it may cause can never be gauged to its full.
There are thousands, if not lakhs, of parents who leave for their daily wage work at very early hours every morning and return home late night. They just keep going till they find a work for the day.
They normally carry their children along to their place of work. How can they drop the children of 3 years for ‘education’ by 9am or so and pick them up back in the evening by 4 or 5? It is crazy, to be mild, ever to strike this sort of ‘fantasy’ and insert it into national education policy. It is most disgusting that our policy makers are so ignorant of the practical difficulties that the common would have to face everyday in his life just because he has a child of 3 years.
Government may revisit this plan, reconsider, redraft and drop the idea of inducting 3 year old children into a mandatory formal education.
About the Author
Writer, Columnist & Income Tax officer,