GUWAHATI, Nov 3 � Prof Anil Sadgopal, an educationist of international repute and a social activist of the same standing, who is synonymous with the famous Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme, is of the opinion that the present education system of the country is based on inequality and also discriminatory.
According to him, this discrimination is based on caste, religion, class, gender, language, region and disability. �The present system of education of the country is teaching our people to distance themselves from the productive system. It is based on the colonial approach to create �babus� for running a political economy, which is totally exploitative. It has discarded the philosophy of building a work-based learning system that has the potential of making the country a global leader by producing a nation of self-reliant people,� he said.
Prof Sadgopal, a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1968) from the California Institute of Technology, USA, was a Dean of Education in Delhi University, besides being a former Member of the Central Advisory Board of Education and a Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
He is the founder of the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP) in 1972, which has so far taught science to around a lakh children through an inquiry-oriented, experiment-based and environment-related method. He is now heading the People�s Campaign for Common School System and the All India Forum for Right to Education as member of their respective presidiums.
Talking to this correspondent, Prof Sadgopal said the present education system of the country does not have any provision to get it engaged in the fight to eradicate the sources of all the above discriminations. The very policy of our country reinforces the sources of the above discriminations, which are thousands of years old and rooted in our sociopolitical and economic structures.
Hence, there is a need to arouse the people of the country for a vigorous movement to introduce an education system, which is egalitarian, equitable, enlightened, democratic and secular in the true spirit of the terms from kindergarten to post-graduate level. This system should be fully funded by the State and run in a decentralised, democratic and participatory mode. Mother tongues should be the medium of this education.
He regretted that at present, the government in the country is withdrawing from the responsibility to ameliorate universal education. It is encouraging private players to dominate the education sector, he alleged.
Prof Sadgopal was in the city in connection with the All India Shiksha Sangharsh Yatra launched by the forum simultaneously from all parts of the country on November 2. Significantly, the launching date of the Yatra coincided with the date on which Manipur�s Iron Lady Irom Sharmila launched her fast against the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFSPA) 14 years back. Referring to the AFSPA and the similar discriminatory treatments meted out to the NE region, Prof Sadgopal maintained that the NE region should stand against the discriminations it is facing.