Popular Tamil actor Suriya has criticised the Centre’s Draft National Education Policy (NEP), saying some of its provisions would leave students from villages in a disadvantaged state.
“The new education policy decides the future of 30 crore students across the country, I’m anguished that no one has come forward to talk about this. The focus is much on entrance exams but not on quality and equal education to all the students. Without giving an equal education, how do you expect quality from students?“ he asked while speaking at the Sri Sivakumar Foundation’s 40th-anniversary function.
The actor said he was standing as a representative to all the students and their parents who are unaware of the disadvantages the new education policy holds for the future generation.
According to the draft proposed by K Kasturi Rangan’s committee, schools that run with a single teacher or hold less than 10 students are to be shut down, the actor said. “According to the draft policy, 1848 of such schools are set to be closed. The primary education of tribals and poor rural students would be affected, they don’t have any basic access to travel and study in some other schools. How will they perceive their primary education? What does the future hold for them?“ he added.
Suriya also spoke about the imposition of languages in the early stages of school education. “From three years, three languages are being imposed on students and government school students are most affected by this. I find it difficult to teach even my kids the third language, who will teach the government school students then? If we are going to be silent about this policy, it will be imposed on us,” he added.
The 43-year-old actor said there is a high percentage of drop-outs in government schools because students feel ashamed if they aren’t able to clear the entrance exams. He further said the teaching profession is fading away and that the coaching centers are eating up that space.
“Coaching centers turn over in India alone is close to 5,000 crore rupees. From class eight, students are being coached for IIT, JEE, etc. The focus is only on city school students; there is another set of students who study in government schools, what about them? How they can afford coaching centers? there is going to absolute chaos in our society,” the Agaram founder said.