A close perusal with the rapt attention of the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 developed in 23 chapters consisting of 484 pages reveals that the provisions therein were necessary but not sufficient for the real education as proper, productive and practical (3P) use of hands, head and heart (3H). The universal thrusts for peace, harmony, and respect for the human being calls for real education.
The Committee for Draft National Education Policy (Chair: Dr. K. Kasturirangan) constituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in June 2017 submitted its report on May 31, 2019.
National Education Policy seeks to address the challenges including access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability faced by the current education system which deserve a word of appreciation.
NEP provides for reforms at all levels of education from school to higher education. It seeks to increase the focus on early childhood care, reform the current exam system, strengthen teacher training, and restructure the education regulatory framework. It also seeks to set up a National Education Commission, increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of technology and increase focus on vocational and adult education, among others. However, our perceptions are confined to higher education only.
The renaming of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) as the Ministry of Education is welcome as none of the 29 States have HRD ministries but the ministry of education and education is on the concurrent list.
Let’s have a look at
What’s there in National Education Policy 2019 for Indian Education ..??
NEP identified lack of access as a major reason behind low intake of higher education in India. It aims to increase GER to 50 percent by 2035 from the current level of about 25.8 percent which calls for strengthening infrastructure in all its dimensions.
It has been observed by the Committee that the current higher education system has multiple regulators with overlapping mandates reducing the autonomy of higher educational institutions (HEIs) and creates an environment of dependency and centralized decision making. Therefore, it proposes setting up the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA). Meaning thereby, UGC, AICTE, and BCI have limited or no role. Is it?
NAAC in its new role will function as the top-level accreditor and will issue licenses to different accreditation institutions, which will assess Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) once every five to seven years. All existing HEIs should be accredited by 2030 is a challenge for NAAC.
READ MORE -Draft National Education Policy ‘Is Against Constitutional Values’: Student Body
The draft NEP proposes that new institutions could be set up through a Higher Education Institution Charter from NHERA. This Charter will be awarded on the basis of a transparent assessment of certain specified criteria. All such newly started HEIs must receive accreditation as mandated by NHERA within five years of being established.
HEIs will be restructured into three types:
(i) research universities focusing equally on research and teaching;
(ii) teaching universities focusing primarily on teaching; and
(iii) colleges focusing only on teaching at undergraduate levels. All such institutions will gradually move towards full autonomy – academic, administrative, and financial.
The draft NEP recommends establishing a National Research Foundation (NRF), an autonomous body, for funding, mentoring and building the capacity for quality research in India. The Foundation will consist of four major divisions:
- Social sciences
- Arts and Humanities with the provision to add additional divisions.
The Foundation will be provided with an annual grant of Rs 20,000 crore (0.1 percent of GDP).
NEP recommends making undergraduate programs interdisciplinary by redesigning their curriculum to includes: a common core curriculum and one/two area(s) of specialization.
Students will be required to choose an area of specialization as ‘major’, and an optional area as ‘minor’.
It has been observed that poor service conditions and heavy teaching loads in HEIs have resulted in low faculty motivation. Further, lack of autonomy and no clear career progression system are also major impediments to faculty motivation.
The draft NEP recommends the development of a Continuous Professional Development program and introduction of permanent employment (tenure) track system for faculty in all HEIs by 2030 is welcome.
It has been recommended that all higher education institutions must have complete autonomy on curricular, pedagogical and resource-related matters.
The creation of a National Education Commission or Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA), as an apex body for education, to be headed by the Prime Minister is welcome. RSA will be responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in India on a continuous and sustained basis.
READ MORE -Teacher Recruitment Process To Include Classroom Demonstration: Draft National Education Policy 2019
It will oversee the implementation and functioning of several bodies including the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the proposed National Higher Education Regulatory Authority, and National Research Foundation deserve to be accepted by the stakeholders.
Financial Domain: National Education Policy
- The Draft NEP reaffirmed the commitment of spending 6 percent of GDP as public investment in education.
- It seeks to double the public investment in education from the current 10 percent of total public expenditure to 20 percent in the next 10 years.
- Of the additional 10 percent expenditure, 5 percent will be utilized for universities and colleges (higher education), 2 percent will be utilized for additional teacher costs or resources in school education and 1.4 percent will be utilized for early childhood care and education.
- There is a strong case for alternative sources of financing education. Let three tier Government do not poke their nose at every level of education. The Local Governments should manage primary education, plus two education should be the responsibility of the Central Govt. and higher education including professional be given to the States or vice versa.
- To generate resources, there is a case for proper pricing of birth certificate, marriage certificate and death certificate as 10 percent of the income of the couple.
Nation Education Policy 2019 has come up with very good initiatives and more promises for future Indian Education. Still, I feel like after reading the draft we must give thought to these points:
- E teaching and learning under MOOC are fine but cannot be a substitute for class room teaching. Education without ethics is like eyes without sight and justifies ethical values.
- Challenges in education include population control sadly National Population Commission is not in place, careless and useless to be converted into careful and useful manpower, balancing of demand and supply of various categories of education.
- We need to develop innovative ideas for improving capabilities, capacities and competencies as human capital ( Spiritual economics is an Idea of India which is non-violent in nature) in new India as independent, non-violent, democracy with integrity and amity.
- It needs to be noted that 5 of 7 targets of sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 on quality education and learning outcomes which calls for fine-tuning and continuous monitoring.
Empowered Governance as
S – simple, M- moral, A-action oriented, R- responsive and T- transparent
S- SQ development, I- intuition development, M- mental level development, L- love oneself attitude, P- physical development, E- EQ development
These models developed in the book ‘ Economics of Human Resource Development in India’ (2012) are to be adopted for effective leadership at all levels.
We need Globalization as a development strategy as an idea of India to achieve SDGs 2030.