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Maharastra education minister to discuss NEP road map with experts

August 17, 2020

The Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad plans to meet experts and department officials on Monday to discuss the state government’s response to the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. They will deliberate on the challenges in implementing the policy and the inter-departmental tasks that will need examination.

Gaikwad said, “The policy will have to be implemented in phases, considering the physical and financial constraints. Maharashtra being a progressive state, we have already launched the implementation of a slew of initiatives, including the use of the mother tongue, syllabus, professional learning after Class 8 proposed in the NEP. The government welcomes the provision with regard to bringing children in the 3 to 5 years age group into formal school education.”

Gaikwad also referred to faculty constraints with respect to implementing the provision whereby schools will not have any rigid streams of arts, commerce or science thereby allowing students to take up whatever courses they want. She said she would be holding similar interactions with experts to decide the state government’s road map for the NEP implementation.

A department official, who did not want to be identified, said the government would have to examine the provision of aided, unaided, permanently unaided and self-financing schools, as it may be contrary to the Right to Education Act. He also added that online learning could not be a replacement for the school system. He said, “The government will also have to critically examine the implementation of three-language formulas envisaged in the NEP, especially when Sanskrit cannot be a language of the masses.”

EN Power Founder Sushil Mungekar said the NEP will not create self-reliant students, as it still carries a job-centric mindset. He added, “Maharashtra can replicate the Delhi government model, in which entrepreneurship is part of school education. This makes students job creators, and not mere job seekers.”

Another department official said the state already offers vocational education after Class 8 and there are about 68,000 state schools which may not be in a position to provide parents the freedom to select the medium of instruction for their children. For anganwadi workers, they would have to undergo extensive training to teach in pre-primary classes, the official added.

Source: The Free Press Journal

Read: NEP 2020: Medium of instruction controversy resurrected

Also read: NEP 2020: Single regulator for higher education institutions

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