Education is a dynamic process. It’s meaning changes from time to time. Different persons from their background and ideals interpret it. It’s a psychological, philosophical, or pragmatic connotations also vary from one another. Taking the overall view, the goals and aspirations of any nation or group are directly or indirectly connected to this process. Therefore, we can’t put this process in a stagnated mode. It needs introspection, revision, and reformation. The government of India formulated various reports, recommendations, and commissions from time to time to reform this education sector to attain the global standard in the entire education system. In this connection, the first elongated draft-NPE was promulgated in 1968 by the Congress government lead by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi introduced the second one in 1986 and now the third one is approved by the present government and titled as “New National Education Policy 2020”. The main points of this new education policy are:
It is not possible to deliberate on all the points highlighted in this policy in a single go. Let us have a brief discussion about the aforementioned points.
Need to develop Anganwadi Centers and Primary Schools
First let us talk about the involvement of Anganwadi Centers for pre-schooling. No doubt, it is a good move but if we take a glance at the Anganwadi Centers concerning its infrastructure, facilities and manpower, etc., the ground reality is that these centers are mostly working in rented accommodation with a single room with the minimum facility. The same kind of condition is prevailing with numerous primary schools, which are running in one or two rooms. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop such centers and primary schools, equip them with latest facilities so that these institutions will shoulder this responsibility efficiently.
Need to retain quality and control
Now coming to the scraping of M. Phil and to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational courses from the 6th standard onwards is a good move. But, the most important point that concerns everyone is the sustainability of quality education. So far as the quality of education is concerned, our previous experience reflected the bleak picture. The government put huge investment earlier also in the expansion of higher education and vocational training but it has been seen that in the process of expansion, such initiative did not yield the best result because of the lack of quality and control. Therefore, there is a need to develop the proper mechanism to ensure its quality and control.
Need to ensure the availability of Maximum Subjects with Sufficient Teaching Staff
Keeping in view the interest of a student towards any particular subject, it is mentioned in the policy document (NEP-2020) that there will be flexibility in the selection of the subjects. It is certainly a very innovative step but the idea that haunts a student is the non-availability of certain subjects in most of the educational institutions. We have seen in some cases where a student covered miles to get admission in a particular institution for opting the subjects of his own choice. Another issue is the dearth of subject teachers. Therefore, there is a need to keep maximum subject choices available at every institution with proper human resource- subject experts so that students will not suffer.
Need to develop E-Courses and Labs for all
The prevailing situation that occurred due to the spread of COVID-19 put all the sectors under pressure including the education sector. But the Information technology played the pivotal role in sustaining the teaching-learning process in a dynamic mode; therefore the provision of developing E-Courses supported by well-equipped labs is a need of the hour. But such facilities should be given to all States or Union Territories or Divisions or Provinces or Zones or Clusters so that every student avail the benefits of government policies or schemes equally whatever maybe his/her social, economic or habitational status.
(Author is a Teacher)