New Delhi, Aug 22: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday lashed out at the Karnataka government and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar for announcing the scrapping of the National Education Policy (NEP) in the state from the next academic year, underlining that the government should not play with future of the younger generation.
Speaking to reporters here, Pradhan said, “What kind of politics do you (Congress government in Karnataka) want to play? I would like to appeal to him (Shivakumar) to let politics take its own course, but one should not play with the future of the younger generation. Now India is in a position for bigger scientific achievements like the Chandrayaan mission. I am again appealing to my friends that there should not be politics (over NEP).”
“Yesterday, Karnataka Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar made an announcement to scrap the National Education Policy. I want to tell my friend Shivakumar ji that the facts are wrong, and your statement is mischievous, regressive. The National Education Policy was not implemented from 2021, it was implemented from 2020,” he said.
He also termed the NEP as a visionary philosophical document prepared by the educationists of this country.
"It is not a political document. It is a philosophical document for 21st century. What kind of message do you want to give to the youngsters of the country, especially in your own state Karnataka," Pradhan questioned.
He added: "What kind of politics are they doing? Do they not want early childhood education and care system to be implemented in Karnataka from the age of three? Do they not they want localised play-based learning for our children?"
"Do they not want our children to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by the time they complete grade three? Do they oppose education in Kannada language? My dear friend Shivakumar is opposing Kannada language, which is accommodated in NEP," Pradhan said.
He also asked if the Karnataka government is opposed to children learning about new and emerging technologies of the 21st century as recommended by the NEP?
"Do they not want relevant textbooks for 21st century education? Do they not want education which is multi-disciplinary, giving equal emphasis to science, language, social science, arts and sports," the minister asked.
"Do they want exams like NEET, CET and JE to be conducted in Indian languages, in Kannada? Is Shivakumar opposing Kannada language entrance examination," he said.