Education means knowledge – this knowledge is not only helpful in making all of us a complete human being, but also lays the foundation of building a civilized society in its true form. Education is the tool that builds the future of the children and youth of the country. It should be our goal to make radical changes in education and pedagogy so as to end the practice of rote learning and encourage skills such as logical thinking, creativity, scientific thinking, ability to communicate and collaborate, multilingualism, social responsibility and concern, and promote digital literacy and inclusion. In this direction, the New Education Policy provides us some glimmer of hope.
New Education Policy: Opportunities
Importance of mother tongue: Mother tongue will be used as a medium of instruction from first to fifth. This will also be instrumental in ending rote learning.
Provision for Dropout in Higher Education: For various reasons, at times students have to drop out of studies in the middle of higher education. In such a scenario, they get nothing and have to start afresh for a degree. The new policy provides certificate of leaving in the first year, diploma of leaving in the second year and degree after completion of the final year.
Promotion of Physical Education: In the new education policy, music, sports, yoga etc. will be added to the main curriculum instead of being extra-curricular subjects.
Earlier, only the students who were interested in these subjects studied them. But these three subjects play a very essential role for the psycho-physical development of every student, like music reduces mental anxiety and depression, and sports provides physical fitness.
Integration of vocational and skill training: In the earlier education system, only youth from urban areas had the alternative to pursue vocational and skill based courses. Whereas, children from rural areas lacked such opportunities. According to the new education policy, as soon as students enter Grade 6, they will be introduced to vocational and skill-based education so that they can go on to make themselves self-employed by choosing their career according to the their inherent aptitude. This will help in curbing unemployment.
Increase in digital education opportunities: The provision of digital education in the new education policy will universalize digital education and children from rural areas will have equal access to it, obliterating disparities and making them feel more confident and at par with other students.
In the field of digital education, some social organizations such as Smile Foundation took the initiative to bring about a revolutionary change through provision of smart boards in council schools in backward districts like Gonda and Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh and helped develop model projects.
Government care for pre-primary children: Children of pre-primary age were mostly educated by private urban educational institutions, and the pre-primary children in rural areas did not have this facility. In fact, not many parents took interest in pre-primary education, and only limited families were enrolled under the integrated child development services (ICDS) scheme. But, according to the new education policy, all children of pre-primary age will be inducted and the Department of Education will be actively involved in the child development project. Importance of Knowledge: In the current education system, more importance is given to marks rather than knowledge. As a result, children are only interested in competing for marks. Even though it has been largely accepted that this kind of education system does not help students in the long run, adoption of new methods had not given priority so far. Despite this, in the new education policy, instead of quantitative education (marks), emphasis has been placed on qualitative education (knowledge). By this, children will develop better mental ability and the future generations will be enlightened.
To know more about Smile Foundation’s education programme visit https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/education.html