Editor's Desk

More time needed for NEP

The ambitious plan of bringing about reforms in the national education system through the New Education Policy 2016 has almost been finalized. The last date for submissions of suggestions has been extended till the 15th of August. The central government claims that this policy when implemented will bring about a revolution in the education sector and will make India a knowledge superpower.
Digitisation of the educational system, more emphasis on PPP model and a well tuned monitoring system are the thrust areas of the NEP. Renewed push on the adult literacy and online literacy has also been envisaged in the NEP to achieve Universal literacy in the country.
Reforms in Higher and University education have also been envisaged in the draft. All this is welcome but there is some cause of concern over the saffronisation of the school syllabus and scope of private organizations and groups in the school administration as part time subcommittees and Ashram shalas will be given authority in the governance and monitoring of schools. Yoga, Vedic knowledge and 'traditional knowledge' will be given more importance. History curriculum produces more scope for distortion of Indian history as has happened earlier. These concerns should be addressed and it should be ensured that the school system is not communalized in the name of promoting Vedic and traditional knowledge. Lessons on important Indian personalities will also be included in the syllabus but it should be kept in mind that the personalities of all the religions and communities should be included and controversial personalities should not be glorified. In short, Gandhi and Godse should not be placed on the same pedestal.
In the new education policy, a mechanism should be evolved for informing the students about the vacancies in a particular field so that the students can pursue the same field right after the higher school exams to fill the vacancies and get job right after graduation. Presently, students blindly pursue graduation without knowing the prospects in the chosen field. That's why there is such a huge number of unemployed graduates in the country.
The concerns of the tribal and minority areas should be taken into consideration. Minorities have not been duly consulted before the finalization of the draft NEP. The government should ensure that minorities should get equal opportunity for learning and education.
A section of the people feel that too little time has been given for making consultations and suggestions from all over the country and from all the stakeholders. One year is too little time to make a comprehensive plan. Minority leaders have complained that their problems and concerns have not been taken into consideration and they have not been duly consulted. Therefore, the HRD should extend the date for, say, another year so that NEP 2016 can be made more effective and acceptable to all the stakeholders.