Break the existing Hierarchical Education – Employment System, Struggle for Equal, Accessible and Scientific Education for all Indians!
Date: July 31, 2020
Friends and comrades,
The National Education Policy 2020 approved by the central government’s Council of Ministers on July 29, 2020 has loudly announced that it will rejuvenate our education system, from pre-primary level upwards. Yet, a closer reading of this document and the ruling RSS-BJP regime’s track record in dismantling public education reveals that the anti-people, pro-corporate character of the earlier NEP 1986 remains in place, further opening up the right to equal, accessible and scientific education for all Indians to attacks from market and religious fundamentalist forces.
NEP 2020 completely discards the principles of Secularism, Federalism and Socialism while deciding how coming generations of working people will be educated. At a time when unemployment and absence of quality employment are at the highest in over four decades, its undue emphasis on ‘vocational education’, ‘private philanthropic partnerships’, ‘compulsory internships’, ‘distance-digital learning’ and a range of other market-oriented programmes moulded by the demands of capital is highly troubling. It envisions a future where more students get poorer education in order to sustain an increasingly unequal economic and social order. Moreover, by introducing financial ‘autonomy’, parity between public and private educational institutions, fund cuts in public scientific research and the entry of multinational education merchants, education itself is being further opened up to exploitation for profit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been used as an opportunity by the ruling class to form major changes in every sphere over the last few months. Basic protections for toiling people have been wiped off by eliminating over 44 labour laws, another massive privatization campaign has been launched in banking, railways and other sectors, legislative changes have undermined social justice norms and citizenship rights and political opposition has been further criminalized. In the sphere of education, an aggressive push has been made towards exclusionary online exams and `MOOCs’ while school syllabi have been undergone ideologically-motivated modifications.
Recognising this new wave of attacks on toiling people, we reaffirm our opposition to National Education Policy 2020 and resolve to strengthen the struggle ahead.
Akshay, All India Revolutionary Students Organization
Shreya, COLLECTIVE, New Delhi
Sarovar, Karnataka Vidyarthi Sanghatane
Akashdeep Mahato, Marxist Student Federation, Jharkhand
Deepak, Parivartankami Chhatra Sangathan
Mrinmoy, Progressive Democratic Students Federation, West Bengal
Radhe Shyam, Progressive Democratic Students Federation
Ramakrishna, Progressive Democratic Students Union
Kavita Vidrohi, Students Organization for Socialist Democracy, Haryana
Aravinth Raj, Tamilnadu Student Movement