TN chooses not to participate in virtual meeting with Union Education Minister

In a letter to the Union Minister sent on Sunday, TN School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi had said that it would be appropriate only if the Education Department Minister participates along with officials from the Department for such a high-level meeting

Representatives from the Tamil Nadu School Education Department chose not to participate in the virtual meeting organised for State Education Secretaries on Monday.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had announced that he would be attending the meeting virtually and had outlined the objectives as reviewing the COVID-19 situation, online education and work around the National Education Policy (NEP). The meeting had called for the participation of the Education secretary alone, and not State Ministers of Education.

In a letter to the Union Minister sent on Sunday, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi had said that it would be appropriate only if the Education Department Minister participates along with officials from the Department for such a high-level meeting. He had further said that he was ready to participate and share their views on the implementation of NEP.

“Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had said that I should take part in it as the Minister of the department and we subsequently wrote to the Centre as well about my participation in the meeting. But there hasn’t been any response, and we chose not to participate,” said Mr Anbil Mahesh, speaking at Tiruchi on Monday afternoon. “We are not looking to fight with them, but want to be able to participate and put forth our views on the NEP and other issues discussed,” he added.

The DMK was strongly opposed to the National Education Policy when it came out in 2020 and had demanded it to be withdrawn.

“Many of our suggestions which we had put forth when the draft NEP was released were not taken into consideration. There are many aspects that need further discussion including the three-language policy, and the NEP also does not say much about how it is going to help underprivileged students or about reservations,” Mr Anbil Mahesh said. Stating that a centralised policy would be ineffective, the Minister emphasised on how the specific needs of the State with regard to education were being ignored in the framing of such a policy.

Stating that he was aware of how important it was to put forth Tamil Nadu’s concerns about the NEP to the Centre through this meeting, Mr Anbil Mahesh said that once they receive a response about his participation, he is ready to speak to the Union Minister and convey the concerns raised about the NEP.

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