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Protests Against the National Education Policy Across Tamil Nadu

SFI demands scrapping of the draft policy stating that the policy itself is against the autonomy of states; TNPWAA terms the draft denies education to oppressed class, minorities and women.
Protests Against

The opposition to the New Education Policy (NEP) proposed by the Narendra Modi led Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) is facing ire from all sections of the stakeholders. The Students Federation of India (SFI) has protested by burning the draft of the NEP across the country, while the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association (TNPWAA) is conducting seminars and demonstrations across the state in protest.

The SFI protested across the state today by burning the draft NEP in front of various educational institutions. They demanded that the draft emphasising education as a commodity should be withdrawn immediately. Leading a protest in front of the Madras University, SFI State Secretariat Member Chandru told NewsClick, “The new draft policy will convert education into a commodity and deprive the socially and economically backward students of education. The draft policy is in line with the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevag Sangh (RSS) which is the parent organisation of the ruling BJP. The government wants to implement the agenda of the RSS which is against the socially backward people. At a time when public education needs more government funding and strengthening, the BJP government is trying to hand over the education sector to the hands of the corporate.”

He also added, “The union government is also trying to impose Hindi on the non-Hindi speaking states which is highly condemnable and is against the federal structure of the nation. The SFI will not allow such a cruel policy to be imposed on the students.”

The TNPWAA has been organising demonstrations and seminars across the state of Tamil Nadu against the NEP. The forum condemned the Union government’s action of not releasing the draft in any of the regional languages. The forum demanded that education should be moved to the state list from the concurrent list so that the states will have the liberty to frame the curriculum as per the socio-cultural status. Aadhavan Dheetchanya, the general secretary of TNPWAA, while speaking to The Hindu, said, “The proposed policy is against the people of the oppressed communities, minorities and women. The ulterior motive behind the policy is to cripple the social mobility of the oppressed classes by denying them access to education”.

The forum also opined that the policy aims at promoting Sanskrit and discriminating the regional languages. The state has been opposing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission to medical courses and now the Union government prefers entrance examinations for all courses, the office bearers said. They also demanded that the state government should oppose the policy without any compromise since it will directly impact the educational system in the state. The draft policy should be released in all regional languages, and the time to send in the suggestion should be extended till December, 2019 the forum insisted.

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