The Karnataka government has officially announced its decision to withdraw the National Education Policy (NEP) and replace it with a state education policy for the next academic year.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that education is a state subject and the Union government cannot impose policies without the consent of the states. He also mentioned that states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already rejected the NEP due to its lack of consideration for the diverse nature of the country, a report by Deccan Herald mentioned.
It was previously confirmed by Siddaramaiah that the NEP would be withdrawn next year, fulfilling the Congress's election manifesto promise. The decision to withdraw the policy is in response to its controversial nature and the need for a more inclusive and state-specific education policy.
On Tuesday (22 August), the Education Minister of India, Dharmendra Pradhan, strongly criticized the decision of the Karnataka government to cancel the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. He asked the state's Congress-led government, to avoid using education for political purposes and to protect the future of the youth by making thoughtful decisions.
Pradhan said, “Do they not want the early childhood education and care system to be implemented in Karnataka? Do they not want localised Indian toys and play-based learning for our children? Is my dear friend opposing education in Kannada language?”
Pradhan also talked about the National Research Foundation (NRF), a recent parliamentary approval, and questioned, “Do they not want Karnataka youth to avail world class research facilities through the national research foundation? Mr Shiv Kumar wants to deprive Karnataka students from that facility.”
Shivakumar stated that the National Education Policy, previously adopted by the BJP government, will be scrapped in favor of the new Karnataka Education Policy, which will be introduced next year.
The new education policy will be implemented for primary and higher education in Karnataka.
The expert committee for the new education policy has not yet been finalised. Higher education minister MC Sudhakar stated that all stakeholders will be taken into account during the policy formulation process.
In order to meet future requirements, a special committee will be established next week to develop the specifics of the proposed state policy, as reported by The Telegraph.
Karnataka became the first state to adopt the NEP in higher education in August 2021, under a BJP-led government.
In April, the curriculum steering committee meeting of the Kerala State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) announced that it would include portions omitted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in the state school syllabus.
This decision was made in response to the exclusion of Mughal history, Gujarat riots, and Darwin's theory of evolution from school textbooks by the NCERT. Education minister V Sivankutty also confirmed that the omitted portions will be included in the Kerala school syllabus.
To formulate a distinct state education policy, Tamil Nadu established a 13-member committee in June 2022. The committee, headed by retired Chief Justice D Murugesan, is expected to submit its report next month.
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