KSU writes to Union Minister against National Education Policy

Shillong, July 30: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has expressed opposition against the move to promote Hindi language and demanded that the National Education Policy should stress on aspects of regionalism and more emphasis should be given to native languages in home regions.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Minister for Human Resources Development, Dr Ramesh Pokhriya Nishank on Tuesday, KSU president, Lambok Starwell Marngar said the Union does not accept the idea of promoting the Hindi language and reduced the importance of English language.

According to him, India is a multi-diverse country with a plethora of spoken and written languages belonging to different branches such as Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman, etc.

“However, more emphasis should instead be given to native languages in home regions at par with both English and Hindi. Furthermore, no particular language should be made compulsory in the entire country,” Marngar asserted.

In view of the diversity of the country, the KSU suggested that the policy should stressed on the aspects of regionalism such as the distinct history, culture, language, habits, customs adding that the history, culture, language, freedom fighters of the Khasi community is poorly represented in the school curriculums.

Expressing concern that the policy is being prepared arbitrarily without taking into account the prospects of Meghalaya state which is still lagging behind in terms of educational elevation, the KSU said it is of the opinion that framing of policies and rules by centrally constituted bodies whereby states are bound only for implementation is against the spirit of the federal structure of the nation.

It also added that such a manoeuvre will not serve the very purpose of educational equity amongst different states owing to the wide disparity in terms of educational progress and aspirations.

“Therefore, the Union opines that although rules and policies will be framed by the Central Bodies, yet the States should be endowed with the option of deciding their own roadmaps for the better interests of the students’ community in that particular state,” Marngar said.

With regards to the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), the KSU chief said that a state-based GER would be better suited for the overall educational development instead of a nation-wide single GER.

“Enrolment procedures vary from one state to another in terms of rural-urban division, development, population, area, educational advancement, etc. Therefore, a state-specific GER with a specific financial allocation will serve the purpose of the policy,” he said.

He further stated that imparting education is an uphill task especially for the marginalized sections of the society. Thus, the extension of pre-primary schooling to three years will result in a one year plus for completion of school education, which the Union feels that it will be a burden for a state of Meghalaya with a relatively high Human Poverty Index (HPI).

The Union also urged the union minister that the diverse socio-economic condition should also be precisely taken into account so as to reduce the already widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Meanwhile, the KSU felt that more time should be given to the public for further deliberations and suggestions on the Draft Education Policy. “Various stakeholders including state governments should be engaged for finalizing this much needed policy,” the KSU demanded.