The South Andaman Teachers’ Branch (SATB) of the Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association organised a Seminar on the Draft National Education Policy 2019 on 10 August, 2019 at the Auditorium of the Tagore Govt. College of Education, Port Blair. Inaugurating the Seminar Dr. Swapan Kumar Biswas, Associate Professor, JNRM appreciated SATB for the initiative and underlined the need for more discussions on draft education policy as this Policy in its final form will decide the direction of the Nation in the next 10-20 years. Focussing on various proposals on higher education, Dr. Biswas expressed apprehensions on the proposed corporate funding and self financing of institutions for higher education. Shri Harish Chandra Rai, Vice Principal, GSSS Haddo presented his views on the proposals for School Education and expressed the need for stress on the ‘Content’ of School Education. He also said more importance should be given to Indian values and thinking in School Education.
In her Keynote address, Smt. Sudha Sundararaman an educationist and Vice President of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, New Delhi said the Central government should finalise the National Education Policy after incorporating various amendments proposed by Teachers Organisations, Trade Unions and Student Organisations. She said, the draft was prepared by a committee where majority were non-academicians and is not based on realities of the nation. She further said, while formulating the policy, the experiences of educationally advanced states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc. were not taken into the account. There is an attempt to dilute the federal nature of education and the proposed National Education Commission will result in more Centralisation and politicisation of Education. Smt. Sudha Sundararaman welcomed the proposal in the draft to extend Mid-day meal scheme to Pre-primary and upto Senior Secondary stage but criticized the proposal in the draft to close down schools with less than 30 children.
Shri K.G.Das, Former General Secretary of the Association also expressed his views on the Education policy and expressed serious concern over the corporatisation of Education sector making the educational institutions as a money making business. Shri Varguneshwaran, a B.Ed. student while presenting his views on the National Education Policy whole heartedly welcomed the proposed changes in the draft policy for the recruitment method of teachers.
In his concluding presentation, Shri T.S.Sreekumar, General Secretary of the Association expressed apprehensions on certain proposals of the draft. He said proposals like closing of small schools and self financing for institutions etc. are detrimental to the interests of far flung remote areas like Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Shri R.D.Yadav, Vice President, SATB welcomed the gathering and Shri P.Jay Murthy, Organising Secretary, SATB proposed the Vote of Thanks. The programme was compered by Shri S.L.Vinjit, Secretary, South Andaman Teachers’ Branch.
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