Published: 21st June 2022
Tamil Nadu files affidavit in Madras HC. Lists reasons why NEP would be detrimental
The Madras High Court is hearing a petition to implement the NEP in the state. However, the TN government has said that the policy will have a destabilising effect
The Tamil Nadu state government has told the Madras High Court that any change in the existing model of education in Tamil Nadu would hamper the well-being of vulnerable children, and the State is not under any statutory obligation to implement the National Education Policy (NEP).
"The NEP doesn’t have any statutory backing and it is a ‘mere policy’ and a draft as stated in the affidavits filed by Union Ministry of Education and HRD," said Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary and secretaries of Higher Education and School Education in their counter-affidavit filed before the first bench headed by Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari on a plea seeking implementation of NEP in the State, according to a report by TNIE.
The affidavit said Tamil Nadu is a secular welfare state offering inclusive education built on the foundation of ‘equitable education’ through 69 per cent communal reservation, 33 per cent reservation for women and quota for Tamil-medium students in government jobs. Two-language formula and mother tongue foundation are the noteworthy aspects of its education system. The unique features practiced in Tamil Nadu require a ‘state oriented’ education policy, the affidavit said.
Comparing TN’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) with the national average, the government said Tamil Nadu is 15 years ahead of the nation.
The affidavit said the schooling pattern of 5+3+3+4 as advocated under NEP will disturb the core objectives of the existing proved practice. As per NEP, entry into school at the age of three is mandatory, failing which, children cannot enrol in schools. In Tamil Nadu, however, children can be admitted to schools at the age of five to six with or without kindergarten training.
TN also said the option to exit at Grade X and reenter at a later stage in Grade XI will increase dropouts and would make achieving 100 per cent GER at a higher secondary school level difficult. The present ‘samacheer kalvi’ model enables children to be successful in numerous fields at a global level, it said.
Propagating uniform education in a pluralistic society may be 'detrimental' to the overall development of the society. The proposed NEP features have strong centralising tendencies which have a destabilising effect on the federal characteristics of the Indian Union, the state said.