Several faculty members of colleges and universities here on Monday raised concerns over the “anti-teacher” National Education Policy, alleging the union government wants to “hand over the entire education system to the corporate”. The government wants to throw teachers off the teaching profession by emphasising digitisation, alleged the Joint Forum For Movement on Education, an umbrella body of teachers and student organisations.
At a press conference at the Press Club of India here on Teachers’ Day, the members of the Joint Forum For Movement on Education conveyed their discontent over the “degrading conditions for teachers following the imposition of NEP”.
The NEP approved by the Union Cabinet in 2020 replaced the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986 and aims at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower. “We are seeing the abysmal condition teachers are in. Education has never been in the bad state it is today. Teachers are struggling for regular employment and are worried about their service conditions,” said Nandita Narain, an associate professor at St. Stephen’s College.
“They are worried about their pensions. Their lives have been precarious. Now, it is also being done to throw them out of education. In the name of student-centric policy, it is trying to throw teachers out of education itself,” Narain added. Approvanad, a professor at the Hindi department in Delhi University, alleged that teachers are defamed across universities.
“When the NEP came, people were told that the plan was to make education student-centric. But the real aim was to remove teachers from the equation. Over the past several years, teachers have been defamed. People have been told that teachers are wasting taxpayers’ money. So now teachers are being targeted,” he claimed. JNU professor Nivedita Menon alleged that NEP promotes privatisation. “The fees in the colleges will increase as NEP promotes privatisation. Now private players will decide the fee structures.
They want to stop people from thinking. Students will sit in their homes and watch online videos. There will be no community. People learn from the discussion. The idea is to end university as a community,” Menon said.
The government does not want to bear the expenses of teachers now, another teacher alleged. “They are pushing towards digitisation. You can study everything online. You can do multiple courses from different universities online. You don’t need teachers,” he added.