With Congress in power, fate of NEP in balance in Karnataka

Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) vice-chairman Col (prof) Y S Siddegowda said it remains to be seen what will happen with the implementation of NEP.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

BENGALURU:   With a new government all set to take charge, several factors in the education sector face uncertainty, including the ongoing implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP). With Congress, which was the divisive victor in the polls, running on the promise to ‘Reject NEP’, the implementation of NEP faces uncertainty. 

Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) vice-chairman Col (prof) Y S Siddegowda said it remains to be seen what will happen with the implementation of NEP. “Currently, NEP is being implemented phase wise and the syllabus is ready for the coming academic year. The implementation may see changes after the concerned minister and ministry are formed, which is yet to be seen. Since education is on the concurrent list, it will be considered both by the central and state governments. So, currently, even we aren’t sure about what will happen with regards to the implementation,” he said.

Sources in the Karnataka Textbook Society (KTBS) said textbook changes will remain unless later changes are introduced by the government. “If the current government wants to make changes to the textbooks, they can do so. But as current changes cannot be reversed as they have already been implemented,” they said.

Meanwhile, in school education, former School Education Commissioner R Vishal said ongoing projects will be unlikely to face any kind of disruption. “Projects like Project Viveka, where we were building government school classrooms, will not be affected as they were started prior to the previous government and are currently ongoing. This is a general principle we follow for most projects,” he said. However, even the project faced controversy, as former Minister BC Nagesh had proposed to paint the classrooms saffron in honour of Swami Vivekananda, which attracted criticisms of saffronisation.

Both school and higher education faced several changes over the last few years under BJP rule, particularly with Karnataka hailed as the first state to implement NEP and promote a digitised approach to education. Meanwhile, the education sectors also faced their fair share of controversy, especially under former minister B C Nagesh, including that of the hijab ban and alleged saffronisation of textbooks and classrooms.

Stakeholders are also hoping for reversals of certain bans, like the hijab ban across all educational institutions. “There are hopes that certain initiatives and orders implemented by the Bommai government will be rolled back, including scraping of the NEP and rolling back the hijab ban. We also are hoping for bringing back several reservations that were scraped under the previous government, as it will prove beneficial for students,” said Aratrika Dey, All India Students Association.

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