DEBAJYOTI GOSWAMI & Dr DHIRAJ BORA
‘‘You have to change your thought process. If you do not change, you do not grow”– The innovative idea of Elbert Einstein probably demands the world community for facing many challenges towards education. During the renaissance of our country in the 19th century and afterwards of the freedom movement, effort was given to introduce modern system of education.
The GDP, PPP, KEI ranking exhibits that knowledge-based economy is an essential factor for transformation to a developed nation. From 1990, at the revamping of the world economy with globalization the scenario of the world education is changing. The pressure of the global competition ultimately forces the higher education demands to enhance the standard within the country. Indian constitution probably imagined the needs of the present days.
Since independence, prior to introduction of National Policy of Education (NPE) the Government of India appointed three important commissions for suggesting educational reforms. The University Education Commission of 1949 made valuable recommendations regarding the reorganization of courses, techniques of evaluation, medium of instruction, student services, and recruitment of teachers. The Secondary Education Commission of 1952-53 focused mainly on secondary and teachers’ education. It is only the Education Commission of 1964-66, which can be termed as father of the National Policy of Education. The Commission made a comprehensive review of entire field of education and suggested to develop a national pattern for all stages of education – primary, secondary, elementary and higher education in India. The Government of India finally issued a National Policy for Education in July 1968 which was revised in 1986. The NPE initially emphasized educational technology, ethics and national integration. A core curriculum was introduced to provide common schemes of studies throughout the country. Prior to the constitutional amendment in 1976, education was a state subject. Subsequent to the amendment in 1976, education is enlisted in the ‘concurrent list’. Thus, constitution is ensuring more powers and responsibility to the Union Government, and the responsibility to deliver the best outcome from National Policy of Education is made more realms to the citizens. The BJP has promised a National Policy to meet global challenges in their election manifesto in 2014 initially. But due to several critics the report could not be accepted during the government’s five-year plan. The present BJP government with re-election has submitted a report with 477 pages to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on 31st May, 2019. The ministry sought public opinion within 30th June, 2019. The draft proposal in the national policy of education has four functions of standard –setting, funding, accreditation and separation of regulatory system by independent bodies. The draft policy does not speak much about transforming to internationalization of primary elementary, secondary and higher education in the days of globalization. Internalization of higher education needs intention of free from anti-globalization, anti-immigration and free from excessive nationalism. These factors always make hindrance for extension of market on education. As such the Education policy should outline the comprehensive policy and vision to handle these issues. The New National Policy of education will be welcomed more if there is a specific para regarding approaches of best practices of higher education for switching over to the emerging system from the conventional system of funding. The draft National Policy for Education opined introduction of National Higher Education Regulatory Authority or Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog (RSA) regulation for all higher education, including professional education. But, in our education system, there is paucity of regulatory bodies. Only failure to make effective implementation and coordination among all oversight bodies is our country’s shortcomings. There national policy of the education system should have clear provision on making of political interference to the mechanism of educational administration to maintain autonomous status of the university/ Institutes. Indian Education system is 70 years old after Independence. In spite of that after 20 years of education, students graduate only to end up to take up jobs which are not at all connected with their graduation. The job market is running in such devastation that we study engineering and join banks; we get MBA and join BPO; learn mathematics and do not know anything else that we can do with other than teaching it to our students. As such, the national policy should specifically include the para of quality education more than the structural regulatory systems. The draft policy has forgotten that infrastructure, faculty, curriculum and pedagogy, research, quality assurance which are the components of higher education are based on the foundation of school education. But the national policy is not speaking much about infrastructure funding of the institutes for primary education which are scarce in rural areas primarily.
In the draft National Policy of Education, academics have been involved and want to have extensive changes in the examination, curriculum and pedagogy and several reforms to improve school education. In spite of that the policy is failing to unite the three main agencies of education namely primary education department, elementary-cum-secondary education and higher education. The foundation of primary education actually makes platform of the higher education. Unless the draft National Policy of Education makes provisions for representation of civil society, higher education specialists, policy makers and heads of primary; secondary and higher education the policy will not reflect the human and social development. The representation of these communities can be made through the introduction of Delphi method only. The Delphi method is a social research method that uses experts’ opinions to make forecast on complex topics. In the days of ICT, a web-based survey through both open and closed questions can be encouraged to facilitate the participation of experts from different geographical areas and thus a draft National Policy of Education may be made comprehensive.
We hope and expect that the government will extend the last date of submission of public opinion in order to reflect people’s demands and adopt a new scientific method for participation of civil society of the country.