NEP Bridging the Gap or Widening it?

The National Education Policy 2020 aims to revamp the education system at a national level. It proposes a number of positive changes that are nevertheless facing considerable backlash.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswamy expressed anguish towards the three-language policy brought in by the NEP earlier this week. The CM rejected the three language approach in curriculum.

Many in the country fear that NEP is going to impose Hindi as a third language. Similar to other states, Tamil Nadu was also divided on the basis of linguistics, and has seen many anti-Hindi movements to preserve significance of Tamil as a regional language.
Contrastingly, most private schools in Tamil Nadu are teaching three languages already and Hindi is the one most opted for.

Is Hindi Necessary ?

It is pertinent to point out that the third language under NEP can be any native language. Thus it’s not necessarily Hindi. This is a great step to promote regional languages.
The policy promotes all languages enlisted in the Eighth Schedule of The Constitution of India. Such promotion of one language is explicitly non-interfering with the other.

Does Tamil Nadu Really Need NEP?

The policy sets a goal to achieve 50% of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in all states by 2035. The government aims to ensure 50 % of the youth enrolled in higher educational institutions or colleges by 2035.

According to the All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-2019, Tamil Nadu ranks number three in GER at 49%. Followed by Sikkim at 53.9% and Chandigarh at 50.6%. Which is quite a remarkable feat.

Tamil Nadu has an impressive 69% reservation for minorities that guarantees increased enrolment and increased opportunities. The state has an established mid-day meal scheme that gives incentives to marginalised children.

Tamil Nadu has 21 universities and 550 engineering colleges. It has the second highest medical seats in the country and the highest engineering and architectural seats.
If a state can set such an example with an outdated curriculum and modus operandi, one can only imagine the success that lies ahead.

Should NEP have Exceptions for States to Choose Languages?

Yes, and fortunately the document clearly states that no language can be imposed on a state. Choosing the third language is a matter of choice by the states and the students.The aim of the policy is to promote multilingualism and national unity. To break the barriers of communication and bridge the gaps in between.

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