Millennium Post

An essential revamp

In a bid to develop better education policy, there have been several blunt vertices of the current education paradigm which require to be sharpened. Recently, one of the vertices of the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 resulted in a furore for its mandatory clause of three-language system imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. In a limiting damage mode, the government was quick to fizzle out apprehensions by ensuring that the draft version is there for public scrutiny following which Hindi was struck off the mandatory list. But wide acknowledgement was observed as to how the country is finally on its toes to prepare a new and modern education framework after so many years. India had implemented NEPs in 1968 and 1986. There was a need to reinvigorate the education framework in the 2000s but unfortunately, it did not materialise. The lapse caused severe faults in higher education with outdated courses running in reputed colleges but imparting less than adequate skill necessary to compete in today's fast-growing world. Amongst the several vertices, higher education is a prime one which needs revitalisation. Unemployment is an economic issue concerning government machinery and policies but some burden is also on the outdated educational system which, apart from professional courses, seldom imparts contemporary skills to suit the 21st-century work paradigm. Liberal education – a concept fondly followed in foreign nations – was for long kept out of the Indian fray but NEP 2019 has brought that into consideration. Allowing a student to pursue economics alongside physics is perhaps the best example of liberal education that will benefit the student's learning trajectory by better suiting his/her preferences. Formal education from as early as age three is yet another novel outcome of NEP 2019 which will ensure that children in the ripe age of 3-6 attend compulsory school, encapsulating Anganwadi and pre-primary schools into one, overlooked by HRD ministry itself. The critical nature of the human brain at this age is well-understood in modern times and it is a step in this direction to ensure that this age is completely utilised to balance learning of languages apart from giving creativity the boost it needs. Focus on play and discovery-based learning along with nutritional and health aspects of children taken care of by the MHRD in collaboration with Health and Women & Child Development ministries. NEP 2019 has to redefine Indian education and cement a robust bedrock for future generations to reap the fruits of modernisation while utilising India's emerging economy to their advantage.

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