It is said that education is the bedrock of progress, providing the base upon which our future generations build their lives. If it is true, it is best to be left out of the political entanglement.

We have seen a trend that after every five years, education comes at the centre of political campaigns. The sheer number of people affected by education policies could influence voters. The education ministry is the biggest ministry if we count the thousands of students from pre-primary to university level. Even if students are too young to understand or have no rights to vote, politicians could influence their parents.

In the past, it was if we should do away with the “cut off” parentage of Class X students to get to government colleges. The repercussions were felt by everyone. It had not changed because there was logic in the decision made and followed for decades. Today, it is if Saturdays should be made off or on days.

Making Saturdays a holiday would appeal to children and even to some teachers. Parents would welcome it as it means one busy morning less. But school days should not be decided by who is happy or sad. It is best left to educationists, school authorities and teachers.

The concerns of not completing syllabus, needing rest for teachers and students should be backed by scientific studies if not recommendations from schools and teachers. Education is important and a sensitive area where we are talking about thousands of young and innocent lives. The policies that we make, especially if it is populist,  will impact thousands of  innocent lives.

Politicization could erode trust in the education system, undermining its credibility and legitimacy. Parents and educators alike rightly expect educational policies to be crafted based on research, expertise, and the best interests of students.

It is a relief that the School Monitoring Division has initiated a study involving a large group to influence the political decision.   Right or wrong, as in politics, the majority will be the decisive factor.  The views are already divided among school authorities. Some feel they could do with an extra day off to improve teaching quality. Others feel that an extra day would help them cover syllabus, conduct other school activities without hampering teaching hours.

The Damcha (oath) of making Saturdays off has already created a rift among educationists. Some are blaming the committee tasked to recommend the government on its pledge, while others feel that the government had not promised a committee to study the feasibility when campaigning.

What we all agree is that to safeguard the sanctity of education, elected governments must ensure that decisions concerning education are made by experts, educators, and stakeholders, guided by evidence-based practices rather than political ideologies. It is best to leave education free from the shadows of political influence, if we cannot commit to nurturing a generation empowered by knowledge, not swayed by agendas.