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Student body to send to PM Modi 35 lakh signatures from Karnataka against NEP

The All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) also opposed four-year degree courses and the plan to allow students to pursue two degrees simultaneously.

The convention condemned the "unscientific" and "divisive" ideas introduced in the NEP position papers in the name of the ancient Indian knowledge system. (Express photo)

The All India Democratic Students Organisation on Wednesday said it would send to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai nearly 35 lakh signatures that it had collected as part of a drive to demand the scrapping of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

At a convention held at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park, the organisation also opposed four-year degree courses and the plan to allow students to pursue two degrees simultaneously, saying such policies would further commercialise education.

Former Hampi Kannada University vice-chancellor A Murigeppa, who participated in the convention, said the NEP was rolled out without any proper consultation with the stakeholders. “It has pushed public education from bad to worse. Before implementing such tall policies, the government should focus on developing the infrastructure of the schools and address the dropout rates in government schools due to poor facilities and lack of teachers. Instead, they are now going ahead with merging the schools, which eventually will shut down government schools.” He found the NEP’s “emphasis on online teaching over classroom teaching” discriminatory and said it would reduce the importance of teachers.

The organisation also demanded 10 per cent of the central budget and 30 per cent of the state budget be allocated for education.

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Abhaya Diwakar, state treasurer of the organisation, said, “The self-financing of educational institutions has forced colleges to hike fees. Students end up paying nearly over Rs 30,000 for commerce degree courses, up from Rs 3,000 in government college in Bengaluru. This has also resulted in decreased enrollment this academic year. Moreover, the extension of degree courses to four years will widen the gap between students and industry by a year.”

The convention condemned the “unscientific” and “divisive” ideas introduced in the NEP position papers in the name of the ancient Indian knowledge system. Karnataka is the first state to implement the NEP.

According to the organisation, around 40,000 students have collected 35 lakh signatures from the state’s 120 taluks to press for its demand for rolling back the NEP.

First published on: 28-09-2022 at 05:20:31 pm
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