02 Mar National Education Policy: A Conundrum!
Posted at 02 Mar 2021 in Current Affairs, Education, Governance, GS Paper II, Social Issues 0 Comments
- The Cabinet had approved the National Education Policy (NEP) in 2020.
- This policy will result in dynamic changes to the education policy of the country. It also renames the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Ministry of Education.
- Its main objective to make India a global superpower in the education sector.
- This is the third major remodeling of the framework of education in India post-independence.
- Before this, education policies were introduced in 1968 and 1986.
- Dr. K. Kasturirangan led the committee that prepared the National Education Policy.
Main principles of the policy:
- Critical thinking
- Conceptual understanding
- Teachers as the heart of the learning process
- No tight separations between subjects, curricular and extra-curricular activities
- Multi-disciplinary education
- Ethical Values
- A robust public education system
Arguments for New Education Policy 2020:
- NEP seeks to address the entire education system, from pre-school to even post-doctorate.
- Adoption of 5+3+3+4 model for school education starting at age 3.
- It gives a sense of autonomy to schools through self-declaration and free from regular inspections.
- It proposes the creation of inclusion funds to help and promote socially and educationally disadvantaged children to pursue education.
Critics of NEP:
- Increased stress on the mother tongue as a medium of instruction not only implicates the marginalized but also especially in a country where English is grossly associated with employability and privilege, puts a restriction as well.
- The lack of playgrounds for children is mentioned in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It further restricts the overall growth from an early age.
- The biggest criticism against the NEP has been that it would drive towards the privatization of higher education, which is against social justice.
- It aims to gradually phase out the affiliation system of Universities in 15 years and grant autonomy to colleges which will again be a cake-walk for privatization.
- It must come up with a collective strategy with states over the three-language formula, as education is a matter in the concurrent list.
- Children and parents must be at the center of implementation plans and providing autonomy must not just be in the letter but also in spirit.
- Without linking NEP to RTE for the goal of universalization of education at the pre-primary, middle, and secondary levels. Without this legal framework, the target of the vision will hardly be ever materialized.
- To ensure equal opportunities for all the policy must incorporate the Common School System.