Implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020) is more challenging in the Northeast region than other parts of India as the region, comprising eight states, have 180 languages, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on November 20 at the North East Education Conclave in Guwahati.

The chief minister said that a multi-ethnic society with diverse language and culture prevalent in the Northeast region leading to a huge challenge in implementing various socio-cultural, literary and academic schemes.

“We have to create syllabus and textbooks in diverse languages and print those taking difficult methods as the printing technology for varied languages are not available. We had to recruit teachers and staff for many languages,” Sarma said.

The chief minister said that the central government has a big role in implementing the NEP in the Northeast region.

“Besides the financial support, there are other aspects we have to obtain from the Centre. The NEP has mandated education at least up to the class five standards in mother tongue. Facing all those challenges, the Northeast region has to be at par with other states of the country,” said Sarma, who was the education minister in the previous BJP government in Assam.

He said that the NEP-2020 would help make India more powerful, take the country to greater heights, empower students and afford them opportunities to grow. The chief minister said that the ‘North East Education Conclave’ would facilitate in finalising a roadmap for implementation of NEP in the region to convert the policy into action and set timelines to realise the dream of a new India.

Sarma said that the five Assam colleges – North Lakhimpur College, Nagaon College, JB College, Sibsagar College and Handique Girls College – to be upgraded as universities.

Addressing the conclave, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan highlighting various aspects of the new education policy said that the Northeast region has to face challenges in executing the policy due to the diverse ethnicity and 180 languages.

“However, with close coordination we have to provide a better education to the region’s 1.25 crore students,” Pradhan said.

The North East Education Conclave was jointly organised by the Union education ministry, Assam education department and Sankardeva Education and Research Institute at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital auditorium in Guwahati.

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