NEP will Cut Jobs, Not Much to Celebrate This Teachers’ Day: Central Universities Teachers’ Body

The news National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will reduce the role of teachers and weaken the connection between the teacher and the taught, claim representatives of Central Universities from across the country. Federation of Central Universities Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA) raised issues relating to various aspects of the NEP 2020 and its ramifications for universities across the country on the eve of Teachers’ Day. With the implementation of the NEP, there is not much left for teachers to celebrate, the FEDCUTA has highlighted several loopholes in the NEP.

Policies such as the SWAYAM Regulations 2021, Academic Bank of Credits and blended mode of learning (BL) intend to reduce the role of teachers and universities by reducing association with students, claim FEDCUTA.

“The autonomy of universities to decide on course structures, etc. in tune with the mandate given to them by the respective Acts of Parliament through which they have been set up will be undermined. The UGC Concept Note on BL envisages students as customers using fancy terms like “pick teachers and timings”, “frame your courses”, “design your degree”, “student-centric” and so on and so forth. However, such dubious and meaningless ideas are mere rhetoric and mask the ulterior motive of the move towards dismantling public education in the country. In reality, these aim at reducing expenditure towards public-funded higher education in the garb of “students’ choice”. More and more students will be forced towards non-regular streams and this will affect the underprivileged and marginalised sections more,” it added.

“As teachers are hired on the basis of workload, these recommendations of NEP are going to increase the instability of workload and reduce the number of teachers required,” said the teachers’ association.

They alleged that the association further said that Vice Chancellors are pushing NEP recommendations in their respective units without a serious discussion on its implications. The addition of fourth-year in the three-year graduation courses, as recommended by NEP, will increase the cost of education and the multiple entry-exit systems will lead to an increase in drop-out rates, with meaningless degrees.

On September 5, teachers and students across the country under the banner of the Joint Federation for Movement on Education (JFME) will protest against “this dismantling of public-funded education and pledges to take forward the campaign to make civil society aware of the ramifications of NEP2020 for the people of this country”.

“The immediate task to improve the state of education is to increase public spending and hire teachers on a permanent basis. With 50% of the population at less than 25 years of age and with more and more students – especially women, minority and Dalit-Bahujan – aspiring to be a part of formal education, the aim to dismantle existing structures of education through such pernicious policies will be fought hard by teachers and students,” said the association in a statement.

Representatives of the FEDCUTA Secretariat, including Prof. Xavier Mao and Prof Prasenjit Biswas from NEHU, Prof. Ram Sewak Dubey from Allahabad University, Prof. Milap C Sharma and Prof. Moushumi Basu from JNU, Prof. Shikha Kapur from Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr. Rajib Ray, Dr. Rajinder Singh and Dr. Abha Dev Habib from DU.

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