By: Dr Ashaq Hussain
A well-defined and futuristic education policy is a necessity for every country because education is the main driver of economic and social progress. Considering their respective traditions and culture, different countries have adopted different educational systems from time to time. On July 29, 2020, the Government of India also introduced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), which is a welcome and ambitious reimagining of India’s education system into a modern, progressive and equitable one. Countless seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences have since been held across India to fully understand the provisions, aims and objectives of the new policy and as such the Higher Education Department of UT of Jammu and Kashmir also offered two important conferences one in Srinagar and the other in Jammu titled EP 2020 Readiness and Implementation as part of accessing our readiness and catalyzing different stakeholders to implement the policy in letter and spirit at different higher education institutions across UT.
The conferences highlighted that India has a great need for an education system that is aligned with the ambitious goals of the 21st century while remaining rooted in the values, systems and ethics of India and this is the NEP- 2020 which has been designed to provide an integrative yet flexible approach to education. , keeping the interconnections of the different phases of education. I understood from the two-day conference that NEP-2020 is an end-to-end educational roadmap for the country with a broad vision of encompassing holistic development, awakening the true potential of learners.
Yes, there is no doubt that NEP 2020 is the foundation of a new India of the 21st century which is poised to deliver outstanding results in higher education, research, innovation and development. scientific and technological development in the country. NEP 2020 is a game-changer for education in the country and therefore also in J&K UT.
The new education policy is a comprehensive model for responding to a child’s overall development and cognitive learning. It is a way to update the age-old educational model to take advantage of the latest technologies, processes and information, thus helping to increase learning and productivity and keep up with the latest trends from around the world. Compared to traditional rote learning techniques, the new policy emphasizes quality, concept understanding and hands-on experience. In short, the new education policy aims to bring creativity and innovation to learning to prepare children for life outside the classroom and focus on developing important skills such as collaboration, creative thinking, problem solving and logical reasoning, which have been overlooked so far.
However, when it comes to the proper implementation of this policy in all institutions, you will agree with me that education should be equal, accessible, affordable, accountable and reachable among all. In the 21st century, poverty, remoteness, inaccessibility, etc. should no longer be an obstacle to education. But, is it possible at the current stage keeping in mind the rural, remote character and infrastructure of each institution. Therefore, new approaches or schemes need to be introduced to bring education to all, to help and advance the NEP-2020 recommendations in every institution.
The new education policy emphasizes the critical need to manage research at all levels – pure, applied, transactional, and focused on specific industry needs and social goals. The main role of the policy is to foster a vibrant research ecosystem through adequate funding, mentorship and support of multidisciplinary research in the fields of arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, engineering and of technology including educational technology in order to make India the skill. capital of the world where we must be at the forefront of emerging technologies: but are we ready to provide such a teaching and learning environment in the same way to all institutions and therefore to all learners? This is a big question to think about before the implementation of NEP-2020 in all educational institutions.
The new education policy focuses on a more holistic and multidisciplinary education at the undergraduate level that integrates the humanities and the arts with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to produce learning outcomes. positive learning. It is emphasized that research needs to be enhanced and strengthened through a holistic and multidisciplinary educational approach. Thus, a holistic and multidisciplinary education is offered to develop all the capacities of the human being – intellectual, aesthetic, social, physical, emotional and moral in an integrated way. Such an education is said to develop well-rounded individuals who possess essential 21st century abilities in the arts, humanities, languages, sciences, social sciences, and professional, technical, and vocational fields.
Such holistic education should be the approach of all undergraduate programs including those in professional, technical and professional disciplines and in all educational institutions, but again there are constraints where multidisciplinary education at this stage is not possible, especially in rural colleges and colleges. with a limited infrastructure that currently only concerns the arts and where the research environment is not dynamic enough to cope with the needs of NEP-2020.
There is no doubt that large multidisciplinary universities and colleges will facilitate the transition to quality holistic and multidisciplinary education. Flexibility in curriculum and new and engaging course options will be offered to students, in addition to rigorous specialization in one or more subjects. This may be further encouraged by increased faculty and institutional autonomy in defining curricula at these large institutions, but students and institutions that were previously deprived of all of this will continue to suffer for one reason or another. Thus, the need of the hour is that the departments of languages, literature, music, philosophy, art, dance, theater, education, mathematics, statistics, pure and applied sciences, sociology, economics, sports, computer science and other subjects necessary to multidisciplinary. education in addition to an appropriate environment and infrastructure be established and strengthened in all HEIs before taking the first step towards the implementation of NEP-2020.
So, here is the role of government, universities, university colleges, the importance of open and distance learning and the role of teachers who are the pillars for the successful implementation of NEP-2020. Universities are perennial sources for generating and disseminating new ideas and knowledge and as such they should play the first and major role in this regard without wasting any more time.
NEP 2020 has an underlying focus on the use of technology in everyday business. It will be interesting to see how the government takes advantage of the developments in EdTech, for the implementation of NEP 2020 in the coming days. It is claimed that in the next decade, India will have the highest youth population in the world with more than 50% below the age of 35 aspiring for high quality education. How to reach them and how to make them lifelong learners is a critical question that needs to be addressed appropriately. Furthermore, the education of future generations needs to be reconfigured to meet the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the goals of quality education aimed at seeking greater inclusion, equitable quality education, promotion of opportunities lifelong learning for sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment. and decent work for all.
In short, to conclude, the new education policy (NEP-2020) comes at the right time and the objective is very noble. But there is a world between establishing a policy on paper and following it in spirit. The success of NEP 2020 and the pace of its implementation depend to a large extent on the ability of universities, colleges and schools to overcome the practical challenges they face. Currently, the implementation of education policy requires multiple actions and initiatives to be taken systematically by different bodies. The government, the Ministry of Education and educational institutions (universities as well as colleges and schools) must cooperate to implement the policy at all levels and effectively in all institutions. So, the mission is ambitious, but the implementation roadmap will decide whether it will truly foster inclusive education that prepares the industry and the future of learners.
The author is an associate professor, IQAC coordinator in the government. Chatroo College Diploma and can be contacted at [email protected]