The RSS education wing, on Friday, demanded that the use of English language as the medium of instruction should be eliminated and emphasis instead should be on the mother tongue, from the HRD ministry, ahead of the constitution of the new education policy, as reported by The Indian Express.
The RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas (SSUN) made a number of suggestions such as that foreign languages be removed completely from the curriculum — even as an alternative; that all research should be connected to "national requirements" and those projects that do not fulfill this criteria should be taken off UGC scholarships, and that references that insult Indian culture and offer incorrect explanations should also be removed, says The Indian Express.
According to India TV, the RSS wing has also recommended that the ministry must attempt to gradually remove English at all levels of education, both in private and government schools, colleges and universities, in a meeting between Atul Kothari, leader of the SSUN and HRD minister Prakash Javadekar. Allegedly the government was asked to "immediately provide facilities to introduce education in Indian languages in English-medium institutions like IIT, IIM and NIT", by the SSUN. An email response by the ministry on 14 October read that his list of recommendations is noted and shall be discussed.
The Deccan Chronicle alleges that the RSS affiliate has even asked for legal action against schools that do not let students speak in their mother tongue, as many schools have existing punishment systems, including remarks and fines, for students speaking in their native tongue. Kothari was reported as saying that many of his suggestions were appreciated.
'Saffronisation of education' has been a popular phrase associated with Dinanath Batra, another RSS veteran of Shiksha Bachao Andolan, and leader of the SSUN. Times Of India reports that Batra and the Shiksha Bachao Andolan have been heading a movement to change UPA era textbooks. According to The Indian Express article, the Haryana government was looking to introduce six of his books in the state syllabus last year, all of which preached moral Indian values and culture.
However, Javadekar had earlier announced the government role must be of a facilitator and not a controller, for which it proposes to give more autonomy to premier institutions of higher learning, based on their performance during a review meeting, that he chaired, with directors of five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research located at Pune, Kolkata, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru in September, accordimg to an IANS report.
A Livemint report claims that the new education policy is aimed at encouraging innovation over rote learning, making education both the emancipator as well as the enabler. The drafting process is open to suggestions by district level and block-level consultation to make the policy more relevant and inclusive. Where gross enrollment was the earlier focus in schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Right to Education and National Literacy Mission, the poor quality of education is the problem tackled by the new policy. Several national-level surveys, third party assessments and consultation is directed to making it a participatory process, to avoid further high-handedness in the education sector.
An article in the Asian Age says that Javadekar hopes to evoke a consensus on a range of issues including the no-detention policy till class 8 and provisional Class 10 Board exams and so on. A detailed discussion is due to take place on 25 October between the HRD minister and the education ministers at the Central Advisory Board of Education.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Oct 21, 2016 14:07 PM