Former Minister A.H. Vishwanath on Tuesday sought to caution the State government against ‘hasty’ implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) in the State.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Mr. Vishwanath, who has recently been nominated to the Legislative Council, said the government should be careful while choosing members of the Task Force constituted to implement NEP announced by the Centre recently. “Don’t be under the illusion that the members of managements of schools and colleges are education experts. People, who run a string of educational institutions, need not be regarded as education experts,” said the former Minister.
He contended that some of the task force members are not experts in the field of education, saying “If the NEP is to be implemented satisfactorily, the government should ensure that the society has a wider representation in the task force.
“Don’t invite to the task force people who are in the business of selling education. Invite those who impart education, and hold meaningful discussions with them on how to go about implementing the NEP”, he said.
Similarly, Mr. Vishwanath advised the government against taking any hasty decision on reopening of schools amid COVID-19.
He pointed out that the parents and students were not asking for reopening of the schools. “Don’t succumb to the pressure from school managements,” he said while claiming that most of the schools and hospitals in the State are run by politicians. If the State government yields to their suggestions, education in the State will suffer, he warned.
Mr. Vishwanath, who is an aspirant for a Ministerial berth in the next Cabinet expansion, made no bones of his contribution to the formation of the B.S. Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the State. “I am also an aspirant for a Ministerial berth,,” Mr. Vishwanth said, however, adding that a decision in the matter was left to Mr. Yediyurappa and the BJP High Command.
Referring to the suicide of Nanjangud Taluk Health Officer Nagendra, Mr. Vishwanath said IAS offices were not sarvajnas or all-knowing and they should give a free hand to the doctors in certain medical matters.
He made a case for giving the supervisory powers in medical matters to District Health Officers while the district administration can take care of administrative matters. With the district administration assuming supervisory role even in medical matters, an element of confusion has crept in, he claimed.
Just like Mr. Yediyurappa, Mr. Vishwanath too has favoured a low-key Dasara this year and felt that it was inappropriate for people to gather during the pandemic. People will have to suffer the adverse impact of allowing large gatherings to take place during the festival.