Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday condemned the scrapping of the NEP by Karnataka as "anti-student" and asked the state's Congress dispensation not to play with the futures of the young generation.
The minister also came down heavily on Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, saying his "preposterous" statements on the National Education Policy (NEP) may please his political masters in Delhi but compromises the interests of students of Karnataka.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah last week said the NEP will be scrapped in the state from the next academic year.
He said his government, by scrapping the NEP, introduced by the state's previous BJP dispensation, will try to provide education in accordance with the Constitution.
Speaking to reporters, Pradhan said, "NEP is a future document for the 21st century, not a political document. NEP is about (the) new emerging technology of the 21st century. It is about skills-based education in the school system." He further said, "What kind of politics (do) they want to play? Let politics take its own route and the Karnataka government should not play with the futures of the young generation." The minister also posed several questions for Shivakumar.
"Does he and the Congress oppose early childhood care and education as a part of formal education? Does he not want our children to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by the time they complete grade 2? "Does he oppose localised Indian toys, games and play-based learning for our children? Does he oppose education in Kannada and other Bharatiya bhasha (language)? Does he not want examinations such as NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), CUET (Common University Entrance Test), JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) to be conducted in Bharatiya bhasha, including Kannada, in a transparent manner?" Pradhan asked.
The Congress, in its election manifesto for the assembly polls in Karnataka, promised to scrap the NEP and, during the recent budget, Siddaramaiah said it will be replaced by a state education policy.
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