On November 11, Maharashtra State Education Department had uploaded the report on its website and asked citizens to submit suggestions and objections by November 23. The final draft which would be made was to be submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for integration in the National Education Policy. For the first time in 30 years public consultation was held for the same. The draft was uploaded on the website to maintain the decorum of transparency as there was an effort to politicize the issue by elected representatives.
No sooner after the report was uploaded, the state government received flak from various teachers groups and political representatives for points like eight hour school, making mother tongue the first language etc. Even ex-MLC Bhagwanrao Salunkhe, along with MLCs N G Ganar and Ramnath Mote, asked CM Fadnavis and pointed out that whatever draft has been uploaded for suggestions and objections was creating confusion and requested the chief minister to withdraw the same.
This all forced state education department to heels and government took down the Maharashtra Report on National New Education Policy from its website. Even the chief minister’s as well as the education minister’s offices swung into fire-fighting mode after MLC Kapil Patil claimed that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had scrapped the proposed draft of the report on new National Education Policy.
Later the government made it cleared that it was at the insistence of two MLCs and an ex-MLC that the chief minister decided to scrap the proposed draft from the government website. Officials from the chief minister’s office clarified that “it was neither a policy nor a draft policy but a draft for the proposed report, which was made open for suggestions.” The CMO also maintained that it was not the report of the education department as claimed by Kapil Patil but it was a proposed report of the state government.
Earlier when Patil claimed that Fadnavis has scrapped education minister Vinod Tawde’s draft, the government indulged in some fire-fighting. When asked Tawde’s office issued a clarification, in which it was very well made cleared that it was not a draft by Tawde but a compilation of suggestions by experts, NGOs and other stakeholders.
Tawde while clarifying the suggestions said, “The report was uploaded on the website to ensure transparency and give officials, teachers, experts and other individuals a chance to give suggestions. However, there was a lot of politics over the issue since it was put up on the website so we had to withdraw it from there. We assure that the final draft will be made only after considering opinion of education experts.”