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The National Education Policy 2019 has been framed with a vision to make our Education as an India centred education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all. This Policy was first framed during the year 1986 and was modified in 1992 and hence new policy has become due since more than three decades have passed since previous Policy. During this period significant changes have taken place in our country, society economy, and the world at large. Education sector therefore needs to gear itself towards the demands of the 21st Century and the needs of the people and the country in terms of Quality, innovation and research to stand as pillars on which our country has to become a knowledge super power.

Brief Snapshot of our New Draft National Education Policy is reviewed as under:

CHAPTER

OBJECTIVE

GAPS AND CHALLENGES ENVISAGED

PART I: SCHOOL EDUCATION

1

Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation of Learning

Every child in the age range of 3-6 years has access to free, safe, high quality,developmentally appropriate care and education by 2025.

Resources constraints under Communication Technology across every length and breadth of the country would lead to an imbalanced situation across the country depriving High Quality Education especially from early childhood stage.

2.

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

By 2025, every student in Grade 5 and beyond has achieved foundational literacy and numeracy

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is measured in terms of quality education in all parameters which cannot be achieved in 5 years due to the present pandemic conditions.

3

Reintegrating Dropouts and Ensuring Universal Access to Education

Achieve access and participation in free and compulsory quality school education for all children in the age group of 3-18 years by 2030.

Dropouts Factor is mainly due to overall parental illiteracy and poverty. Our country is blessed with 135 Crores population where no official latest poverty statistics is available except an estimated figures of India’s Poverty Analysis through C.Rangarajan’s methodology fixed at 29.5% which is alarmingly high. Government should undertake a Real-time Analysis and Estimates to determine the Poverty rate to achieve free access to compulsory quality education.

4

Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools

Curriculum and pedagogy are transformed by 2022 in order to minimise rote learning and instead encourage holistic development and 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, scientific temper, communication, collaboration, multilingualism, problem solving, ethics, social responsibility, and digital literacy.

The Subjects and the contents prescribed in the book oriented and examination/mark based evaluation of Education Curriculum have limited scope and prescription for Critical Thinking, Creativity, Scientific temper, communication, collaboration, multilingualism, problem-solving, ethics, social responsibility, and digital literacy. This is totally attributed to the fact that only Marks or Grades have become the main criteria for assessment or evaluation of Skills and Student proficiency. Digital Literacy can be achieved only whether Technology Plan is framed that each and every inch of our country is blessed equally and at par with the world class standards in Network & Communication Technology to envisage holistic development.

5

Teachers

Ensure that all students at all levels of school education are taught by passionate, motivated, highly qualified, professionally trained, and well equipped teachers.

Quality of Teachers and their own training methodology has to get adapted well to the present new needs of children and handle Online classes proficiently well involving interactive methods with students to develop knowledge and skillsets. With the depletion of overall standards of education the teachers face the brunt lacking the desired professionalism and knowledge for the students to be benefited

6

Equitable and Inclusive Education

Achieve an inclusive and equitable education system so that all children have equal opportunity to learn and thrive, and so that participation and learning outcomes are equalised across all genders and social categories by 2030.

Equal opportunity will always be denied and deprived due to many factors including Economy, Geography, Gender Inequality, Illiteracy, etc. Unless the policy clearly states the roadmap to achieve Education which is complete on all respects in terms of infrastructure, student-teacher ratios, transport and food facilities to all students Inclusive and Equitable Education is only an hypothetical concept.

7

Efficient Resourcing and Effective Governance through School Complexes

Schools are grouped into school complexes to facilitate the sharing of resources and render school governance more local, effective, and efficient.

Optimisation of Technology resources is the only avenue to integrate the resources. Autonomy and Transparency in the Governance of Schools at the Headmaster level without depending on a regulated hierarchy in the process of decision making would envisage effective and efficiency in schools.

8

Regulation and Accreditation of School Education

India’s school education system is invigorated through effective regulation and accreditation mechanisms that ensure integrity and transparency and foster quality and innovation for continually improving educational outcomes.

Policy lacks clarity to spell out a concrete roadmap and plan for effective management as the extant Regulations under School Education needs improvement in areas of Discipline, Performance Evaluation of Teachers based on Students’ feedback, etc. Innovation in Teaching Methodologies have to take a new dimension to the action or process fix accountability or responsibility to ensure continuous improvement in Education.

PART II: HIGHER EDUCATION

9

Quality Universities and Colleges: New and Forward Looking Vision for India’s Higher Education System

Revamp the higher education system, create world class multidisciplinary higher education institutions across the country - increase GER to at least 50% by 2035.

Achievement of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to 50% is very much achievable in 15 years’ time NOT by creating New Institutions but by transforming the existing infrastructure into a world class one by providing the basic resources and amenities in terms of developing dedicated and knowledgeable teaching community without having an “Employee” mind-set working only for salaries.  

10

Institutional Restructuring and Consolidation

Vibrant multidisciplinary institutions of high quality that increase capacity of higher education in India and ensure equitable access.

Multidisciplinary Institutions is envisaged only when there exists proper co-ordination and communication within the structured set-up. Policy lacks vision to spell out Institutional Restructuring and consolidation without diluting or compromising independent identities

11

Towards a More Liberal Education

Move towards a more imaginative and broad-based liberal education as a foundation for holistic development of all students, with rigorous specialisation in chosen disciplines and fields.

Specialisation in any field requires thorough overhauling of the basic education in terms of choice and merits. The Policy should devise methods to ensure that specialisation under Higher Education is achieved only be means of a system that evaluates the quality and merits of the basics or fundamental background related to the chosen disciplines and fields.

12

Optimal Learning Environments and Support for Students

Ensure a joyful, rigorous, and responsive curriculum, engaging and effective pedagogy, and caring support to optimise learning and the overall development of students.

Though the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept has always been under a structured exam oriented framework, the enthusiasm amongst student community to learn and develop their knowledge skills have often been discouraging and hence, the policy has to devise suitable methodologies to define the concept of Joyful and Rigorous and Responsive curriculum.

13

Energised, Engaged and Capable Faculty

Empowered faculty with high competence and deep commitment, energised for excellence in teaching and research.

Teaching community should be subject to periodic evaluation in terms of their commitment and knowledge skills including their overall adaptation towards latest advancements in their respective fields. Policy needs to mandate this.

14

National Research Foundation

Catalyse and energise research and innovation across the country in all academic disciplines, with a special focus on seeding and growing research at universities and colleges

The need for Research in any field must be a paramount objective to any policy as students hardly take up Research once they complete higher education. NEP should devise suitable strategies to make Research as a lucrative career and encourage students pursue the same besides ensure that there is no diversion in domains for the sake of employment and a conducive ecosystem is created for research through competitive peer-reviewed funding, mentoring, and facilitation.

15

Teacher Education

Ensure that teachers are given the highest quality training in content, pedagogy, and practice, by moving the teacher education system into multidisciplinary colleges and universities, and establishing the four-year integrated Bachelor’s Degree as the minimum qualification for all school teachers.

Job Guarantees to all those who pursue Teaching as a career right from the Under Graduate level is to clearly spelt out in the policy so that Teaching profession is chosen as a passion and not as one more means to gain employment. Teacher Education should be structured in such a way that compulsory practical training is rendered right from the first year of the Four Year Integrated Degree Course for Teaching is made compulsory.

16

Professional Education

Build a holistic approach to the preparation of professionals, by ensuring broad-based competencies and 21st century skills, an understanding of the social-human context, and a strong ethical compass, in addition to the highest-quality professional capacities.

Degree of Professional Expertise or Competence could be achieved only when the student is trained to develop not only domain or subject knowledge but also develops his/her personality traits and empathy towards Human values with utmost religious or spiritual ethics. Policy should spell out a suitable methodology to identify the inbuilt parameters in student who possess professional capabilities of highest quality.

17

Empowered Governance and Effective Leadership for Higher Education Institutions

Independent, self-governed higher education institutions with capable and ethical leadership.

Empirical Studies related to Education Models of Deemed and Autonomous Institutions in our country have never been undertaken to support this concept of empowered governance and effective leadership. Hence the policy demeans the effective leadership and governance of Government organisation.

18

Transforming the Regulatory System

Effective, enabling and responsive regulation to encourage excellence and public-spiritedness in higher education.

Higher Education is not governed or dictated by any specific legal framework. In the absence of statutory support, the policy failed to build up a Regulatory system to achieve excellence in higher education.

PART III: ADDITIONAL KEY FOCUS AREAS

19

Technology in Education

Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education - to support teacher preparation and development; improve teaching, learning and evaluation processes; enhance educational access to disadvantaged groups; and streamline educational planning, administration and management.

Improvement in Technology infrastructure is always coupled with the enhancement of tech savvy skills and approach of teaching manpower resources. Policy has to be devised specific norms and guidelines to enlarge the scope for imparting Online education as class room based infrastructure is going to be depleted in future due to the advent of pandemic challenges that both the student and teaching communities are now exposed. Examination process should be more of Objective Type with multi-choice answers through Online methods right from the school level. This would help to get trained and become proficient in any competitive type examinations for Employment or further Education.

20

Vocational Education

Integrate vocational education into all educational institutions - schools, colleges and universities. Provide access to vocational education to at least 50% of all learners by 2025.

Vocational Education should include Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) as a part of higher education curriculum for internal assessment. Policy should prescribe mandatory domains to Learners in the activities related to Organic Farming, Waste Management, Civic Amenities, Tree plantation, etc as a part of their Academic Curriculum under Vocational Training.

21

Adult Education

Achieve 100% youth and adult literacy rates by 2030, and significantly expand adult and continuing education programmes.

Policy should devise strategies to engage volunteers and voluntary service organisations giving adequate incentives and infrastructure facilities through Regulated guidelines and make mandatory for every Adult and Youth to get educated at village levels.

22

Promotion of Indian Languages

Ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages.

States should be fully empowered to promote their own native language through proper fund allocation from the Centre in its main agenda to promote all Indian Languages without giving any special priority or importance to any single national language. This would also help the education system to inculcate the spirit of multi lingual approach by the student community.

PART IV: TRANSFORMING EDUCATION

23

Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog

Synergistic functioning of India’s education system, to deliver equity and excellence at all levels, from vision to implementation, led by a new Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog.

National Education Commission should ensure complete cohesion and synergy between the multiple dimensions of education in the true fabric of our Constitutional concepts in terms of  its Basic Structure and to guarantee the concept of Federalism and preservation of State Autonomy.

LIMITATIONS OF THIS POLICY

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the constraints envisaged in the lockdown, the concept of Classroom environment can stay as a distant reality at least for the time being. Students are going to be deprived of quality education due to dependence on technology resources to gain both subject and practical evaluation of technical skills would be found wanting. Selective exclusion of specific topics from the syllabus and unilateral reduction of chapters are not subject to any scientific evaluation in the shortest period of time would augment depletion of quality of overall Education, Skills and Knowledge of students for the next five years. This Study draws the following conclusions to envisage huge limitations:

  1. Change of Study pattern from Classroom to Online Education for the next generation kids.
  2. Lack of Tech Savvy teaching community both at the School and Higher Education levels.
  3. Policy is silent on the Examination and Evaluation System including accountability of the teaching community.
  4. New Domains under Professional Courses that creates more Job worthiness are not identified.
  5. Increase in Public investment in Education sector to reach 6 per cent of GDP lack specific parameters.

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