Don't react hastily to draft educational policy: Venkaiah Naidu

Visakhapatnam (IANS) Amid uproar over the draft National Education Policy that recommends making the teaching of Hindi compulsory up to class 8, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged all stakeholders to go through the entire report, instead of reacting hastily.

"I urge everybody... don't be hasty before coming to conclusions. Go through the entire report, study, discuss and analysis and react so that government can act after the discussions," he said while addressing the "Industry Academy Interaction for Improvement of Quality of Academics" organized by the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) here.

He said that the core issues of education agitating minds of the people were very important and they deserve attention by all concerned.

"In our country some people for political or other reasons have the habit of immediately saying something by seeing newspaper headlines," he said in an obvious reference to reaction by political parties from Tamil Nadu, which alleged that the proposed policy is aimed at imposing Hindi.

"We should not be seen quarrelling on languages," he remarked.

Venkaiah Naidu suggested that north Indians should learn one south Indian language and south Indians should learn one north Indian language for national integration.

He pointed out that the draft policy proposed that children up to class five at least and ideally up to class eight must be taught in their mother tongue.

"Children are able to understand basics better in the mother tongue. Learning English is also required but that should be after laying the foundation," he said.

He lauded Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for announcing that Telugu will be a compulsory subject and advised the Andhra Pradesh government to think of making Telugu compulsory as an official language.

Naidu said many graduates were ending up "neither here nor there" by forgetting their mother tongue in the craze for English but lacking communication skills even in English.

Calling for revamping the entire educational system, he said it should ensure industry and academy interface, academy and agriculture interface and reduction of syllabi for children as they were carrying loads of books and some of them ending up with cervical or orthopedic problems.

Reducing the load of school bags, promoting yoga and sports, inculcating morals, scientific and rational temperament, history and the contribution of the freedom fighters should become part of the curriculum, he suggested.

He also called for establishing a symbiotic relationship between academia and the industry to create an ecosystem for innovation to thrive and generate employment for the youth.

Pointing out that the Indian universities did not figure in the top 100 ranking global universities, the Vice President urged universities and educationists to introspect and improve the standards.

Observing that India was once known as 'Vishwaguru', he said that India must once again become the global hub for knowledge and innovation.

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