Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, on Thursday said that the Centre’s new National Education Policy was a progressive document that acknowledges the flaws in the present system but provides for a “highly-regulated and poorly-funded” model of learning.

Sisodia added that the new policy has not been able to break free of the old ways of understanding and imparting education. “The other big problem with the policy is that it is either silent or confused about how to achieve the proposed reforms and requirements,” Sisodia said at a press briefing.

The Delhi deputy chief minister also pointed out at the government’s proposal to allocate 6% of the gross domestic product to education was not new. “This has been repeated since 1966 but the government has to bring in a law to ensure that 6% of the GDP goes into education. We cannot achieve this goal on a national level unless there is a law for it.”

Sisodia said that the new education policy proposes free compulsory education from nursery to class 12 but does not say how it will be achieved. “The policy says that the ways to provide free education will be examined in the future,” Sisodia said. “The government has brought in a new policy after 34 years, took six years to come up with it and is still saying that it will examine ways to implement the proposals. What was the government doing all this while?”

Sisodia also criticised the Centre for not focusing on the improvement of government schools in the country. “The government’s New Education Policy promotes private school education,” he said.

The Centre unveiled the new National Education Policy on Wednesday, under which, it said, board exams will become easier and there will be more focus on multilingualism and inter-disciplinary learning. The policy proposes greater liberty for the students to choose the subjects they want to study.

Also read: Centre’s new National Education Policy aims to make board exams easier, promote multilingualism

New policy propagates RSS ideology, says Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, said that the objective of the New Education Policy announced by the Centre was to propagate the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “According to this agenda, the curriculum will now be presented in a special colour to mould the new generations,” he said, according to PTI.

Yadav said that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party should not politicise the future of students. “Education should be such that secures the future of students,” he said.

The Samajwadi Party chief added that a government which is destroying social cultural values and the principles of the Constitution cannot achieve anything by merely changing the name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to Ministry of Education.