SAHMAT Convention on ‘Debating Education-I ’ 6th August 2005

In August 2002 we had organised a convention against communalization of education to combat the communal outlook that was sought to be spread through the education, system, more particularly the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE). This new curricular approach was sought to be brought in by the former National Democratic Alliance [NDA] government with it’s self-avowed sectararian views and ideology. The teaching of astrology, Vedic mathematics, rewriting of history constituted other elements of this assault on rational discourse within our education system. We belive that the de-communalisation of education was one of the important features on  which the Indian electorate gave an unambiguous electoral verdict last year.

The NCERT under the new United Progressive Alliance [UPA] dispensation has issued a new National Curriculum Framework for School Education. The current NCF which has been thrown open for a discussion needs to be widely debated and discussed as it appears to lack a firm commitment against a sectarian and narrow vision of education, the school curriculum and the teaching of history, especially. The freshly drafted NCF has not come into being in a vacuum. For the six years of the previous NDA regime, a sinister game had been afoot to affect the



minds and hearts of future generations through a warped, narrow and hate-filled tampering of the school curriculum and text-books. Any policy and future document that corrects this blatant anti-Constitutional approach of the previous regime needs to account for the retardation of the previous regime.  The claim to ‘ avoid the blame game’ is indicative of the lack of a desire to restore the rational discourse in the Indian education system. Apart from this there are serious pedagogical issues that need to be discussed in the context of the NCF.

SAHMAT and Communalism Combat have jointly organised a day-long discussion on the NCF in New Delhi on August 6, 2005. Academicians, teachers, educationists and social activists involved in education will participate in the discussion.

We invite you to participate in the discussion on Saturday, 6th August at Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.

We request you to get your institution to sponsor your travel expenses.

A line of confirmation will help us plan the discussion better. The NCF can be downloaded from the NCERT site.

Teesta Seetalvad and Arjun Dev