“Therefore, the values of moral education in schools and colleges should be based on the principles of the Constitution and not on ancient cultural values,” he added.
The NEP-2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century, announced 34 years after the previous national education policy in 1986. The NEP-2020 aims at comprehensive reforms at both school and college levels, which the government said has been implemented
Kharge noted that a provision in the constitution states that there should be no religious instruction in state and state-sponsored institutions.
According to Article 28 (1), no religious instructions may be given in educational institutions that are fully supported by the sovereign wealth fund, he said.
In cities, says Kharge, children who have access to quality kindergarten education learn to read and write when they enter first grade.
However, he said that poor children in towns and villages will be disadvantaged because there are no adequate policies for training Aanganwadi teachers. The disadvantage of poor children is that they have not studied for three years before entering grade 1.
“Almost 50 percent of students drop out after grade 10. No plan has been proposed to reduce these early school leavers. It is estimated that 32.4 percent of these students are Dalits, 25.7 percent are minorities and 16.4 percent are tribal,” said Kharge.
Teachers are already burdened with various tasks like voting, censuses, vaccinations, etc., making it difficult for them to focus on teaching and it is impossible to improve the quality of education, the congressional leader said.
Kharge said the focus should be on math, science and English to provide development opportunities for rural and backward areas.
“Indian culture is learned by students through their language and literature classes. Such kind of activism by the government to promote a single culture of Sanskrit or Hindi will only keep children from backward areas away from modern education,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa and SAD member Balwinder Singh Bhunder called for the Punjabi language to be included in the list of official languages in the Union of Jammu and Kashmiri territory.
Last week the Union Cabinet passed a bill that would make Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi the official languages of the Union of Jammu and Kashmir alongside the existing Urdu and English.
In special mentions, Rajmani Patel called for a Commonwealth Sports Center to be set up in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, while Rakesh Sinha (BJP nominee) sought compulsory training in disaster management in schools and colleges.
Amar Patnaik from the BJD wanted to formulate a central sector scheme for the weaving community.