National Education Policy: Understanding the Interpretations
By: Sadaket Ali Malik
National Education Policy 2020 could be a milestone in building a new India. As suggestions for the draft policy were sought from the country’s intelligentsia and educated class only last year after formulating the policy, the Ministry of Human Resource Development received more or less 200,000 suggestions in this regard. In the light of which the draft National Education Policy must have been considered and submitted for approval. But some educators are of the opinion that the edited material of the draft should also be made public so that they can understand that the draft has been approved after studying the suggestions received.
Some people are calling the new education policy dangerous, but after studying the draft national education policy, no danger has emerged. However, it is largely true that Urdu is not included in the education policy. It seems that the general public has not read the draft literally. Starting from the primary level of education situation, the school education system is divided into four categories. Pre-primary one year, first and second class one year each. This will be the first part, second part third, fourth and fifth grade and third part sixth, seventh and eighth grade. These three parts will last for three years. The fourth section will have a series of ninth, tenth and eleventh and twelfth grades. However, there is a program to abolish the twelfth grade, which is called intermediate, and abolish the system of higher secondary and junior colleges.
Education will be generalized from the sixth grade onwards under the trilingual formula. Apart from local languages, regional languages will also be taught, including Sanskrit. The services of teachers will be limited to teaching only. They will not be involved in election and other such duties. Teachers will have a responsibility to teach students with full attention and not only raise but also maintain the quality of education.
At the school level, the ratio of one teacher for every 30 students will be ensured. This stage is the most difficult for the observers. This is because there are currently no teachers in schools in proportion to the number of students. This situation is always there and when these teachers are elections duties, plus polio and other government programs, it is only natural that there will be a teacher crisis in schools.
Delhi, the capital of the country, has a teacher-student ratio of about 35 students, and this is possible only when teachers have 100% attendance in schools, otherwise the situation and ratio becomes more unbalanced.
Nalanda University in the Indian state of Bihar was the talk of the town several centuries before the famous European universities Oxford and Cambridge. The university was a global center of learning and education, but by the turn of the 21st century, neither the University of Bihar nor the national education system had a name. At present, the ratio of students to teachers in Bihar is very sad. Now the ratio of one teacher to 38 students is enough to highlight the educational situation there. In large classes, there is a further increase of one student. According to a 2017 report, the ratio is 32 students per teacher. This is at the primary level, the situation is a bit better and the ratio is one teacher for every 24 students. The situation may be largely the same as reported, but its effects are rare. But since this is the age of globalization and every father wants his child to get a good education, there is a network of private schools all over the country. They have 40, 50 children in a class and one teacher is responsible for their education. While the government wants to have a teacher-student ratio of 30 students in public schools, it should also ensure that the ratio in private institutions is such that children get a better education and play a significant role in the development of the country and the nation.
It was the dream of Father of the Nation Gandhiji that every child should find his own ability and potential and like others take full part in the reconstruction of this world. We will complete the number in proportion and the teachers will be able to do their job well. Otherwise, the situation on educational is in no way satisfactory.
It should be noted that efforts have been made at the government level to pave the way for large-scale transformational reforms in both primary and higher education. This is the first education policy of the 21st century. This policy is linked to the 2030 Agenda for Comprehensive Development and aims to make India a more inclusive and knowledge-based society. This is possible only when the ratio of teachers to students from the elementary level is absolutely correct. Otherwise, it is difficult to achieve the desired goal.
One thing I have often said under the same column is that the government formulates its own strategy and makes arrangements to implement it. We should not only try to take advantage of these useful projects at our level, but also ensure that their benefits reach the villages and the common man sitting on the margins. Secondly, wealthy people across the country should come forward to build a network of schools and colleges. Get the institutions approved by the government and not only set up the institutions, but also appoint auditors to look after them at every level and consider them as benefactors and not as a source of profit.
Even today, the number of such rich people in the country is quite reasonable who can take part in this work and benefit the nation and the country. Of course, this will be of great benefit to them not only in this world but also in the hereafter. And they will be reddened by this legacy of their ancestors.