The NEHUTA organized an online panel discussion on the importance of new NEP

Shillong, Sept 14: The NEHUTA organized an online panel discussion on the importance of new National Education Policy and its implementation in the context of North-East. Inaugurating the panel discussion as chief guest, Prof.P.S.Shukla, the Vice-Chancellor made a thorough presentation on progressive and beneficial aspects of NEP.

He referred to NEP’s proposed seamless mobility of students across disciplines and universities, multiple entry and exit points, flexible teaching-learning procedures and overall, removal of rigid boundaries in evolving a choice based curricular and degree framework.

He asserted that NEHU as a well-developed central university has all the requisite facilities to implement the multidisciplinary and flexible framework of teaching-learning in the interests of students and exhorted the learned galaxy of intellectuals to find ways and means of a creative implementation of NEP in the context of NEHU and North-East in general.

He pointed out that in the present context, NEP is geared up to provide not only wide range of choices in emerging frontiers of knowledge, but it aims at strengthening the University-society relationship in the most  relevant manner. The Vice-Chancellor reiterated the need for creating a society of scholars, intellectuals and of students imbued with Indian values and cultural ideals.

Prof.S.M.Sungoh, a noted educationist from NEHU presented in great details about the framework of NEP. She contributed a comprehensive roadmap of curriculum development and institutional restructuring for integrated teaching-learning-research and funding prospects, which is embedded in the NEP.

She emphasized on how NEP promises to facilitate access and equity for education to the socio-economically disadvantaged and argued for the need of greater inclusive education by putting larger thrust on gender and disability studies as well as by incorporating a greater participation for gender, specially disabled and disadvantaged in every segment of higher education as laid out in the NEP.

Prof. Nandita Narain from Delhi University and ex-President of Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Association emphasized on the need of a critical assessment of ground realities. She pointed to many ills of the present system, especially absence of facilities in having a large class, which grew larger with OBC reservations.

She also pointed out the grim picture of digital divide and fall of transmission of proper educational content in online system of education. She emphasized on the need for a critical mass of scholars and intellectuals who would not only develop a greater sensitivity towards where the system of education leaves various sections high and dry.

In the discussion were also also raise voice for recruitment of teachers on permanent basis as NEP plans for massive expansion. She raised the demand for spending minimally 10% of total budget outlay for education so that public funded education is not commercialized and access to education is equitable to all sections of Indian society.

Prof. D.V.Kumar, a noted sociologist from NEHU, who just published a celebrated book on the Idea of University brought out the positive and the negative aspects in the NEP. He wondered how beautiful it would be to see a large inter-disciplinary framework of education when a humanities students can learn Physics or a student of Physics can learn History

According to him, would be able to create a much more balanced and equipped generation of learners, teachers and researchers. He exhorted the idea of equity and access that NEP brought out in setting a target of 100% enrollment by 2030 to make India into a powerhouse of education and intellect.

Emphasis laid on mother tongue is another area that Prof. Kumar exhorted and cautioned against reducing role of English language, as it might weaken India’s competitive edge in the globalized market.

Professor Nikhil Chrungoo, a veteran scientist and a noted educationist pointed out several lines of possibilities emerging from the process of implementation of multidisciplinary education structure, which require internal reform and readjustments of relevant kind.

It needs a redefinition of idea of credit in higher education so that credit transfer and creation of standardized curriculum can synergize. The problem of access in online classes requires urgent creation of the very best infrastructure so that the issues of maintenance of quality are properly sorted out.

Prof. Chrungoo’s emphasis on developing an upgraded curriculum, infrastructure and adequate teaching-learning process for determining the right level of entry and exit has been lauded by participants. He emphasized on practical problem solving approach in the process of implementation.

Prof. H.Srikanth focused his discussion in the context of NIRF ranking and emphasized on developing appropriate pedagogy and incorporation of ethical standards as worked out in the NEP.

He emphasized on retention of diversity and removal of existing gaps and inequalities between metropolitan universities and universities located in other nook and corner of the country.He argued that as long as facilities are unequal, it won’t be possible to achieve the stated objects and goals of education as delineated in the NEP.

Prof. O.P.Singh, a noted environment scientist pointed out the need for step by step implementation starting with secondary and post-secondary to honors’ programmes so that foundations of students are strengthened by way of basic teaching-learning framework. Only then restructuring of academic bodies and governing institutions can achieve its stated objectives.

He pointed out the dismal conditions of educational institutions at rural areas, which are suffering from disparities of all kinds. He emphasized upon the need for removal of such disparities first, before one embarks upon large reform and restructuring by placing a lot of resources upon the rural sector. The panel discussion generated a lot of debate among the nearly 200 participants drawn from across the country.

The main collaborator of the panel discussion Dr. N. A. Reddy, an expert in higher education in his concluding remarks termed the panel participants as “saptarishi” or seven saints who shared their invaluable insights on the present processes of positive changes in the field of higher education by the NEP.

Prof. Donkupar Syiem, Prof. Xavier P. Mao, Dr. Marbhador M Khymdeit and Dr. Prasenjit Biswas as co-ordinators from NEHUTA announced that the NEHUTA, as a leading body of academics in Northeast shall organize bigger symposiums and discussion forums to make many more participants to present their views on NEP.

It was further stated that the NEHUTA in association of leading publishers shall publish important reflections on NEP with a broad coverage and participation in the form of voluminous scientific study.

The panel discussion ended with thanks from NEHUTA and Dr. Reddy, as the main organizer from Dept. of education of NEHU. It is asserted that NEP requires informed and critical discussion at every stage of its implementation. Said Mr. Prof. X.P Mao President and Dr. Marbhador M Khyndeit general secretary.




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