Now Kapil Sibal says "I didn't say that", but does he get the point?

After receiving considerable opposition to his controversial proposals to "revamp" the education system - of which we're focusing on his proposal to close State Education Boards and replace them with the nonsensical "one nation, one board" stuff - Mr. Kapil Sibal has bitten his tongue. Speaking to the Times of India, Mr. Sibal...
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.

How can you have one board for the entire country? This will be like turning the clock back on federalism.
...or the point, surprisingly for the BJP, Murli Manohar Joshi made:

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.

Tailpiece

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.

11 comments:

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

In fact, in his report, Yashpal says the following words:

"We have emphasized delivery of information and rewarded capability of storing information. This does not help in creating a knowledge society. This is particularly vile at the university level because one of the requirements of a good university should be to engage in knowledge creation – not just for the learner but also for society as a whole.
It became clear to us, therefore, that the overall regulating structure for all higher education should be just one. This would imply that the UGC and AICTE should be subsumed within a single Higher Education Commission."

The derivation announced in the 2nd para above from the "explanation" or "build-up" provided in the 1st para seems abrupt, and pre-conceived in nature. Otherwise it can only be a feeling of superiority of the committee members (or its initiators) over anyone else in an Indian state. But unfortunately, Yashpal happens to be a purist from the education sector, and the policy maker in the HRD minister lacked the same point in his thinking - that of the federal nature of the country for which they're planning to make policies. This point, they cant take back, for sure :)

Now even if they come back saying this point they made to cover the diversity of topics being studied, and not the states that run boards/institutions, then too, these people have missed the point that even the aspects that one might want to study in a higher education instt. might differ across the various states in India. That way a Higher Education Commission is rendered useless, and pitiably misplaced.

Ashu said...

@ Vikhe Patil - "In board examinations, we cannot compromise on Marathi language."

Central board never said that they will compromise with the language of the state did tey?

Having one board in India will enable the students from one state to connect to the other. The unifying factor may not be Pakistan it can be education also.

we study same rhymes same science countrywide we can maintain the same standard of education.

What if Europe one day decides to have (of course with the consent of states,, which was not obtained in our case yet) a single central board which will supervise the best education system in Germany,, France,, etc, Just like having single currency it is having single education board that's it. so much hoopla required on this???

Ramesh RAO said...

@ Ashu

“we study same rhymes same science countrywide we can maintain the same standard of education”

Oh yeah, do we study the same History as well? Did you study extensively about dynasties of Karnataka eg: Satavahanas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Gangas, Hoysalas, Karnataka Saamrajya (Vijayanagar empire)? Did you study about freedom fighters from Karnataka (Kittur Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna and the likes), Did you study about “Ekikarana Chaluvali”? Do you know there existed a lady who defeated Shivaji? Well, there is much more.

All that little you may have studied about dynasties of Karnataka will be erased from the text books. History of North India will become the History of India.

And regarding rhymes, no they don’t study “karimari naayi kuinguttutittu” or “rotti angadi kittappa” or “naayi mari naayi mari tindi beke” etc. do they?

“What if Europe one day decides to have (of course with the consent of states,, which was not obtained in our case yet) a single central board which will supervise the best education system in Germany,, France,, etc,”

Simple, the European Union will disintegrate :)

And you talk about currency, UK has not joined the league, that shows that there is disagreement amongst them too regarding flourishing economies (Western Europe) and non-flourishing economies (eastern Europe).

“Central board never said that they will compromise with the language of the state did they?”

Agreed, but did they legislate “Hindi as a National language”, Did they every legislate that “IIFA” was showcasing Hindi movies (refer this - http://enguru.blogspot.com/2009/06/idunna-international-hindi-film-academy.html),

Did they ever legislate that only people who know/learnt Hindi will get promotions in “Central govt jobs’.

Yes, all these and much more are in the list that they have not asked the state governments to compromise on, but they have gone far enough to impose and implement them.

So, what Vikhe Patil says becomes true and true to Karnataka too (we may have to compromise on Kannada in Karnataka if one board is formed, for sure).

vasant said...

ಕೇಂದ್ರವೇ ಎಲ್ಲ ಸಿಲಬಸ್ಸು ನಿರ್ಧಾರ ಮಾಡೋವಾಗ,, ಉತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಭಾರತದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಆಗುತ್ತೆ. ಉತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದ ಭಾಷೆ ಹಿಂದಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರ ಭಾಷೆ ಆಗುತ್ತೆ, ಬಾಲಿವುಡ್ ಭಾರತದ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿ ಆಗುತ್ತೆ. What about Kannada - Kannadigas - Karnataka? ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ, ನಮ್ಮನಾಳಿದ ಕದಂಬ, ಹೊಯ್ಸಳ, ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಏನಾದ್ರೂ ಈ ಸಿಲಾಬಸ್ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುತ್ತಾ? ಹರಿದು ಹಂಚಿ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದ ಈ ನಾಡನ್ನು ಬೆಸೆಯಲು ಜೀವ ಪಣವಿಟ್ಟ ಆಲೂರು ವೆಂಕಟರಾಯರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಈ ಸಿಲಾಬಸ್ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಾ? ಈ ನಾಡಿಗೂ (ಅದರದೇ ಆದ) ಒಂದು ಭವ್ಯ ಇತಿಹಾಸ, ಪರಂಪರೆ, ಭಾಷೆ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಹಬ್ಬ ಹರಿದಿನ ಇದೆ ಅನ್ನೋದನ್ನ ಈ ಸಿಲಾಬಸ್ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಹೇಳಿ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಾ? ದಿಲ್ಲಿ ದೊರೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಇದನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ತಗೊಂಡು ಏನಾಗಬೇಕು.. ಅವರಿಗೆ ಅರ್ಜೆಂಟ್ ಆಗಿ ಏಕರೂಪದ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ಅನ್ನೋ ಹೆಸರಲ್ಲಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಹಿಡನ್ ಅಜೆಂಡಾ ಆದ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣವನ್ನು ಕೇಂದ್ರದ ಪಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಹಾಗೆ, ಅದರ ಬೆನ್ನಿಗೆ ದೇಶದ ಒಗ್ಗಟ್ಟು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಲು (??? ) ಹಿಂದಿಯನ್ನು ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮೇಲೆ ಹೇರುವ ಸಂಚಿನಂತೆ ಕಾಣುತ್ತೆ.

ಇದೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನು ಮೀರಿ ನೋಡಬೇಕಾದ ಒಂದಂಶವಿದೆ. ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಯಾವುದೇ ಮುಂದುವರಿದ ಭಾಷಾ ಜನಾಂಗ / ದೇಶವನ್ನು ತಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ್ರೂ ಕಾಣೋದು ಒಂದೇ ಅಂಶ. ಅವರ ಎಲ್ಲ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಅವರ ನುಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವುದೇ ಅವರ ಏಳಿಗೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣ ಅನ್ನೋದು. ಅದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಏಳಿಗೆಗೂ ಅನ್ವಯಿಸುತ್ತೆ.. ಈ ನಾಡು, ಈ ನಾಡಿನ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಏಳಿಗೆ ಹೊಂದಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಕಲಿಕೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ನುಡಿಯಲ್ಲೇ ಆಗಬೇಕು. ಎಲ್ಲ ಹಂತದ ಕಲಿಕೆ, ಆ ಕಲಿಕೆಯಿಂದ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಉತ್ತಮ ದುಡಿಮೆ, ಆ ದುಡಿಮೆಯಿಂದ ನಾಡಿನ ಏಳಿಗೆ, ಈ ಮೂರೂ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಿಂದಲೇ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗೋದು. ಕಪಿಲ್ ಸಿಬಲ್ ಅವರು ಹೇಳೋವಂತ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ ಬಂದರೆ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲ ಹಂತದ ಕಲಿಕೆ ಅನ್ನೋ ಕನಸು ಬರೀ ಕನಸಾಗೇ ಉಳಿಯುತ್ತೆ. ಕಲಿಕೆ ಹೋಯ್ತು ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಇನ್ನೇನ್ ಉದ್ಧಾರ ಆಗ್ತಿವಿ ನಾವು?

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

Friends... and especially Ashu here.
While all the vivid explanation given above is perfectly in line with & supports the reason behind this blog, I also wish to ask a primary question. If a central body wont impose Hindi, or Hindi culture when it comes up with this "national" curriculum for instance, then there's no other unique task that this board can actually be "chartered to" do! If this central board thinks it can frame a good curriculum containing information about Karnataka history in Karnataka's text-books, so can the state govt. of KAR itself do that job, and perhaps a lot better, right?

After all, we dont want the entire nation to pronounce the name Sir M Vishweshwaraiah in a wrong way, just because some fool sitting in the curriculum board cant realise the real way to pronounce it. Its better if education moves entirely into state list.

Sandeep said...

ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಇತಿಹಾಸ, ನಮ್ಮನಾಳಿದ ಕದಂಬ, ಹೊಯ್ಸಳ, ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಏನಾದ್ರೂ ಈ ಸಿಲಾಬಸ್ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುತ್ತಾ?
Did they say that they will remove off Karanataka's history. Why should you doubt the Central board. They may tell Karnataka's rich tradition to the whole of India.

They may come up with a good text book which has lessons on ಆಲೂರು ವೆಂಕಟರಾಯರ.

Sandeep said...

Not clear what Hindi culture is? Let schools celebrate Holi or Rakhi its a good festival. let them tie the knot on their sisters hand and take oath to protect her.

however we can still celebrate Shivaratri and Deepavali etc.

Central Board cannot bring Hindi text books and ask Kannadigas to study them. As most part of India dont understand Hindi at all.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sandeep,

Please look at present day text books of central schools. How much they teach about K-K-K? Hindi and English are the cumpolsury languages of these schools today. How much about sankranti, naagara panchami, raajyotsava day is taught today? Today's central school text books teach as "kannada is a language which sounds like tamil written in telugu" (there was a report on this in news papers, recently). When today's situation itself is pathetic, how do you expect have place for kannada - kannadiga - karnataka - namma saMskRuti, namma itihaasa, namma saahitya, namma hiriyaru?
If even central wants to do this, it is impossible to cover all states. Also, for karnaataka students, to know about annamayya/ peddana is not as important as it is to telugu people. Hence I strongly advocate for education system to be put back in STATE LIST.

Regards

Anand

Jockey said...

@ Sandeep

You're too naive to still believe that they "may do this", "may do that". They do nothing of that sort. Even you don't have the conviction that they "will do this", "will do that"!!!!

I'll tell you what they will do: they'll just force their viewpoint and their history and their kings and their "greatness" on everybody. Why have we no mention of anything called as the Karnataka Ekikarana Chaluvali anywhere?

Even if they had the right intentions - which is unlikely - they can never give as much attention to Kannada-Kannadiga-Karnataka as we can since they'll need to distribute the text-book space equally between all states! We don't want this crap.

Anonymous said...

Between this tirade of "State" v/s "Centre"...we all will
lose on the basic essence of education, culture and heritage

Anonymous said...

namage kEMdra sarkaaradinda yaavudE hErike bEDa ashte. naavu namma makkaLige namma k-k-k itihaasa tilisikodutteve.

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