Education is not a political issue: Dharmendra Pradhan on skills development, NEP and the history curriculum

Education is not a political issue: Dharmendra Pradhan | Photo credit: Representative image

Highlights

  • Union Education Minister Dhramendra Pradhan shared his views during the ongoing Times Now 2021 Summit.
  • Pradhan spoke about skills development, NEP 2020 and the ongoing debate on the history curriculum.
  • The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the ministry of skills in India, he said.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan spoke candidly about ongoing education debates including reforms, skills development and curriculum review. Speaking of many concerns, the Minister of Education set the tone for the conversation on development and change. When discussing Savarkar’s inclusion, Pradhan said “education is not a political issue“. He was speaking at the ongoing conclave of India’s top decision makers – the Times Now Summit 2021 – India @75.

In a fireside chat with Times Network Group Editor and Times Now Navbharat Editor Navika Kumar, he said: “A country should review its education policy every 10 or 20 years. India has a new National Education Policy 2020 after a gap of 34 years.” He shared different strategies adopted to engage NEP 2020 and highlighted the immense potential of the National Education Policy to strengthen educational infrastructure across the country.

On COVID19, Digital Education and the Future of Education

“Students, teachers and other stakeholders have done a commendable job in adapting to the era of digital classrooms,” he said. Sharing plans for the future, the education minister said the government is set to strategize for the design and development of “learning content” in about 16,000 schools in India.

“The Ministry of Home, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education have done a collaborative job to elevate the education system of India even during the COVID 19 pandemic in the country. Currently, most of states have taken steps to resume offline classes,” he added.

When asked about the ‘Counter-Terrorism’ course at JNU, interpretation of the Quran and other similar topics, Dr. Pradhan clarified that it is essential to learn the basics of every current case. However, students have the right to interpret it according to their understanding.

On skills development

He cited how COVID has improved the country’s capacity and highlighted the importance of the Ministry of Skills Development in India. Talking about the oxygen crisis, he pointed out that India had a consumption of 900 metric tons which skyrocketed to 9000 metric tons. India also needed medical and miscellaneous equipment. As such, it becomes important to stimulate skill development.

“What you learned 30 years ago is no longer relevant today,” he stressed, referring to technological advancements in various sectors. “Teachers are the most important pillars of the education system in India, and the government is striving to comprehensively develop and train teachers and other stakeholders,” the minister assured.

I Times Now Summit 2021 – Watch live here

While discussing the various measures taken by the Modi government, he said November 15 will be celebrated as ‘Janjati Gaurav divas’ to celebrate Birsa Munda’s legacy. He also added that the overall education system can only be developed through 100% digital literacy.

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