BJP’s Self-damaging Opposition to Education Reform

BJP has started with a wrong step. Why should BJP president depute Murli Manohar for reacting to the 100 day plan of Sibal, the education minister? Does he not know that Murli Manohar was hated in academic circle? Why can’t Rajnath call some eminent educationists with some soft corner for BJP along with core group of the party and take their opinion before letting the views of the party on such important issue? BJP must master the system of collective governance. Let an individual not be allowed to present his own ideas as party’s view.

The opposition of education reform for just opposition shake will be self damaging for BJP and perhaps disenchant its middle class well-wishers who were at one time their important vote banks too. It will be as fatal as its opposition to Indo-US Nuclear Treaty.

Former human resource development minister Murli Manohar Joshi dubbed ‘the UPA’s 100-day education agenda a rushed recipe for disaster and pro-rich. Let BJP not get transformed into the leftist mindset. I am also sure that whatever Murli Manohar stated is not the views of all the leaders of BJP. Otherwise how could Gujarat come out in favour of Sibal’s views within so short a time?

Sibal’s proposals are worth positive considerations and must get all the best inputs from all who can contribute to refine for universal acceptability.

BJP must point to the weaknesses in primary and secondary education in rural India-its infrastructure, its teachers, and its management. It would have come out with the ideas and ways to improve the effective enrolment to 100%, dropouts till class XII to zero, enhanced accountability and involvement of the teachers. It is only in rural India that are having maximum of the schools that are only primary, middle or secondary. Very few have all classes from nursery to class XII as it is in most of the schools in metros. Most of the students in rural India will have to sit for the board examination even after class X. The rural school will hardly have the benefits of accreditation as with single school there will hardly be choice, unless many small entrepreneurs or self employed young persons come for teaching at affordable cost.

BJP as opposition and media must doubt over Sibal’s promise to connect every rural school with broadband, and to effectively use it for providing the quality education to the children and if the school infrastructure with single teacher, and poor building with no electricity can make it happen. Can Man Mohan Singh find another Nandan Nilekani for making this happen?

I wrote once to CM, Bihar to abolish the state boards and let every school switch over to CBSE courses. Most of the state boards remain out of date about the changes required for keeping the standard competitive. Simultaneously, the boards and its employees are only extra financial burden on the state’s finance, besides making state education corrupt and transforming the teachers as union leaders or ghosts. How can the teaching requirement of a region be different to maintain its identity? Why should even the books and teaching curricula of science subjects and English be different?

Will BJP oppose the bill on the right of free education to every child, entry of private schools in villages, or accreditation of the schools? Why doesn’t it demand additionally for compulsory and intensive training and refreshment courses for every teacher in rural India and government schools? Will BJP oppose the law to prevent and punish malpractices such as donation or capitation fees too?

Will BJP block the entry of foreign universities too in India and allow the outflow of students for no good reasons? Instead why should it not press for allowing only globally highly ranked universities from all over the world?

I wish BJP to come out with positive gestures at least on education reforms with a clear thinking arrived at with its brain pool on education rather than allowing the old physicist to talk his notions on education. Let BJP know the nation what it wants, as the people of the country will like to know BJP’s course of action on education reforms.

Let BJP be more prudent in approach as responsible opposition.

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