The Meghalaya College Teachers’ Association (MCTA) which has boycotted first semester classes since August 1 has maintained that it was not against the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 but the hasty implementation of the policy.
Addressing media persons here today, the college teachers’ body said that the only way out now is for the vice chancellor of NEHU to withdraw the notification directing affiliated colleges to implement the NEP.
MCTA leader David F. Marbaniang said that under the NEP 2020, the current three-year undergraduate programme will change to a four-year undergraduate programme where the number of semesters will increase to eight from the current six.
“So far we only have the syllabus for the first two semesters. What about the succeeding semesters? Where’s the syllabus? If anything has to be implemented and when we introduce a curriculum, it has to be comprehensive and the implementation has to be in full,” he said.
Stating that in NEHU the syllabus for the Department of Business Administration as well as the syllabus for the Department of Music is not there Marbaniang said that suddenly he came to know that the syllabus of Business Administration is ready without the approval of the NEHU academic council.
“This afternoon I again called up the head of the Department of Music to confirm with him if the syllabus of the department is ready but he told me that the syllabus is not yet ready. So, to date we don’t have the syllabus of music. How can we go ahead implementing this NEP then?” Marbaniang asked.
He pointed out that when students took admission in colleges sometime during the month of May and June they did so on the basis of the old curriculum and the prospectus that the college offered to them.
“We do not know what sort of papers are going to be introduced in the succeeding third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth semesters,” he said.
Marbaniang said that even though some of the MCTA members are also members of the Board of Studies and of the academic council of NEHU, they were left in the dark about the entire issue.
“You have these ability enhancement courses, you have these NPCs and so on and so forth. Where is the human resource and manpower that is going to service these different courses? We don’t know,” he added.
Informing that Section 14 (4.1) of the NEP talks about access and inclusion of the economically disadvantaged groups and also spelled out clearly the role of the government, he however said the Meghalaya government has not done anything about it.
Marbaniang also said that under NEP, a student would have to pay an additional fee of more than Rs 4210 per semester.
“Majority of our students here will not be able to afford this and who will come to their rescue?” he asked, reiterating that the government has been silent on this too.
“If the State government is serious about education, it needs to wake up, step up and intervene,” Marbaniang asserted.
Another MCTA member who was present at the press conference said that states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Karnataka have decided to roll back on NEP next year.
“When we also look at the universities, as per the UGC website, out of 56 central universities only 19 have agreed to go ahead with the NEP,” he added.