admitted that having a single, nationwide class XII examination would take time due to differences in quality and curriculum in different states. “Unless quality is improved, the state boards cannot affiliate to a uniform system. I did not say there would be a ‘one-board, one-exam’ system,” he said.Yeah yeah, we're used to this. So okay he didn't say that. He said what he said above, right? Let's assume he did.
First of all, the above statement still suffers from the viewpoint that state-boards have to be abolished one day or the other - otherwise one wouldn't simply say that having one exam for the whole of India is "going to take time". If there is any truth left in India being a democracy and this being a federal setup (albeit half-hearted), that time is going to be infinity, Mr. Sibal.
Secondly, his statement on quality begs for data. Who has done a comparative study of PUC I and PUC II in Karnataka with other boards across India? Where is the proof that PUC education in Karnataka is inferior to that in other boards? How can he make such hand-waving statements about the quality of PUC education in Karnataka (since Karnataka is covered in the dark shadow of his statement)?
Thirdly, even if it were true that state boards are of an inferior quality, why should they affiliate to an all-India system once the quality is improved? Who said centralization is the solution for all quality issues? The world has proof that it is decentralization which solves quality issues, not centralization. Also, why should the states give up control over their education systems and let New Delhi - whose jokers cannot crack a "match-the-following" of states and languages of India - take over? Mr. Sibal simply doesn't get the point we at BANAVASI BALAGA made:
In a federal setup, you don't tell the states. You ask 'em. In a federal setup, you don't make decisions. You federate 'em....or the point Maharashtra Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil made:
There are so many issues involved — state’s culture, history, language, etc. In board examinations, we cannot compromise on Marathi language. The state should be consulted. Why should you have a centralised system of education? Education is the responsibility of the state. Why are you taking it out?...or the point Kerala Education Minister M. A. Baby made (also here):
Having a single board will not help in a country like ours which has a federal structure. Much of the cultural diversity will be lost if such a board is set up....or the point, surprisingly for the BJP, Murli Manohar Joshi made:
How can you have one board for the entire country? This will be like turning the clock back on federalism.
We have a federal structure and education is in the concurrent list. Announcing such a decision without consulting state education ministers, the State Council for Educational Research and Training, and state boards is unprecedented.Does Mr. Sibal understand that he's not a dictator but a federal agent expected to federate? We hope reason dawns on him. We now ask ourselves - what if the Congress feigns more inclination than the BJP towards federalism in one paper presented somewhere, when all that doesn't translate to action? Note: this is not praise for the BJP. Far from it.
Two "I didn't say that"s made us digress from the task of dissecting the Yash Pal Committee Report. We promise to return to that in the next post. There's written evidence that the Yash Pal Committee did say that:-)
Even if the committee later claims it didn't and The Hindu fabricated it (that's where we got the report from), we'll comment on it anyway - because what the Yash Pal Committee report came up with is something anybody not thinking seriously enough on the problem of Education can come up with. And we need to clear a few confusions there. So hang around.