The Ministry of Education has improved its education policy recently to introduce various holistic approaches and progressive reforms in education. Approved in 2020, the New Education Policy is a well well-formed policy, success will depend upon its practical implementation. India is a densely populated country and the hope of this country can be found in its youth. Therefore it is important that they get the best education possible.
The New Education Policy aspires to make many reforms to the current education system. From making the board examinations more application-based to discontinuing M. Phil degrees for PhD aspirants, it plans to keep all grounds covered. It also aims to add further regulation systems to higher educational institutes and lay a foundation of similitude between public and private schools. The document for the Policy covers a lot of problematic details in the Indian Education system and attempts to solve them.
With this very optimistic policy, a sense of practicality has to be brought about to the surface to see how these guidelines and rules will be applied in reality.
The policy lays emphasis on various facets of India’s education. For one, it wants to eliminate differences between public and private schools, through innovative and holistic approaches to teach children across schools. For correct implementation, teachers in public or government schools should be properly educated and trained to incorporate said methods. They should be trained effectively on how to formulate quizzes, hold debates and organize exhibitions. Effort has to be made in executing these practices to make sure the aim is reached to the best of its abilities.
The policy talks about hosting certain Bal Bhavans, a special daytime boarding school, on the weekends to have children participate in extracurricular activities. These Bal Bhavans should be consistently spread throughout districts as the one-per-state proposal is not sufficient. Along with that, there should be multiple activities that cater to all demographics. These should be hosted during either Saturdays or Sundays as most children will be available at the time. A Bal Bhavan should be located near major school clusters, so that more children can attend them. The proper implementation of these Bal Bhavans can potentially boost the physical and mental health of many children. Activities for arts like music, theatre, pottery, etc. along with sports related activities can provide children relief. These activities can also be age-organized, with separate cohorts being made for children of different ages so that more children can socialize with their own age group. Teamwork can also be inculcated as an integral part of these events.
The policy also aims to change the 10+2 system into the more common 5+3+3+4 system. Earlier, in public schools, there used to be just two divisions. In the 10+2 system, those aged from six to sixteen were compressed together whereas those between the age of sixteen and eighteen got their own space. This clearly was problematic and not sustainable. Most schools abroad provide pre-primary, primary, middle and senior education. Teaching methods differ for students at these different levels.This happens in both public and private schools in places like the USA, China and UK. The Policy aims to divide the children on the same basis. In short this means, pre-primary education for those between 4 to 8 years (Nursery-Grade 2), primary education for those between 8 and 11 years (Grade 3 to 5), middle education for those between 11 and 14 years (Grade 6 to 8) and finally, high school for 14 to 18 year olds (Grade 9 to 12).
A way to ensure this could be by dividing the institution and hiring different faculty who are well-equipped to handle their prescribed age-group. Some teachers aim to teach high school students while others are trained to teach kindergarten. A proper distinction provided in these age groups can surely provide better administration.
Above I have stated are a few suggestions for practical implementation of the New Education Policy. The Policy also highlights that special attention would be given to the socially and economically disadvantaged. It would be far more helpful if they would give concrete definitions of whoever falls into these categories and with that, devise a fool-proof plan to help those with learning disabilities. From providing braille to catering to those who have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), all cases should be effectively covered through trial and testing. Students with learning disabilities shouldn’t bear the brunt of ableism and should be given equal opportunities as everyone else.
It would be much appreciated if the New Education Policy can be properly implemented as the education of this new generation is very crucial in the advancement of India and the world at large. This generation has a lot of potential that should, in no way, be withheld. With the changes that the Education Ministry aspires to make, proper implementation is a must.