The Tamil Nadu government has voiced opposition to as many as 36 aspects of the draft new education policy which was unveiled by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry during the 64th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The ‘Sanskritisation’ of education, alternative schools for underprivileged communities and other policies which were against inclusiveness in education were opposed by the Tamil Nadu government at the meeting that was attended by Education Ministers from across the country and representatives from various central educational agencies, sources said.
The draft policy includes 143 aspects spread across 21 chapters, some of which were welcomed while others opposed by the States.
With regard to the proposal to limit the no-detention policy to Class V instead of Class VIII, Tamil Nadu pointed out that it was only in 2011 that the Centre decided to allow students to complete schooling till Class VIII without being detained and therefore it shouldn’t change its stance so soon.
Tamil Nadu also reiterated its opposition to the ‘three-language policy’ and hence was against the expansion of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya schools into the State. “It was strongly put across that the State government should be the final arbitrator in any policy on education and the Centre cannot creep into the autonomy of the State,” sources, who were privy to the meeting in Delhi, said.
A proposal to integrate various District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) was opposed by Tamil Nadu, while it welcomed a learning outcome measurement of these institutes. Tamil Nadu also came in for praise as it was one of the two States in the country that has fared well in the training of teachers, according to a recent survey by the Centre. The Centre was also appreciative of Tamil Nadu for being the only State in the country to have registered an increase in school enrolment, both in private and government schools. Country-wide, the enrolment in government schools fell by 8 per cent and there was a 4-per cent increase in enrolment in private schools.
As for higher education, Tamil Nadu opposed the idea of allowing foreign universities into the country, contending that such a move would pave the way for commercialisation of education.
Being a State with several discipline-specific universities such as separate universities for sports, fisheries and agriculture among others, Tamil Nadu strongly opposed the Centre’s proposal against such universities.
“Tamil Nadu contended that there are various specialisations within a discipline. For instance, in case of sports, there is sports medicine, sports technology, etc,” a source said. A proposal to restrict the number of affiliated colleges under any given university to 100 was also opposed by Tamil Nadu.