Reconfigure,support learning: Draft Education Policy

Highlights of very important recommendations in the Draft Education Policy 2019; Ironically these suggestions have been lost in the high decibel political row over inclusion of Hindi as third language in non-Hindi speaking states. All the same, the following is Part 1 of the series of the draft proposals , submitted by the Committee on Draft Education Policy, submitted by its Chairman  K Kasturirangan to the HRD Ministry.      

” despite progress in some aspects, a mind-numbing uniformity prevails in the education system today, one in which students are not nurtured for their individual potential, in complete antithesis to our ancient traditions. 
”Young learners today belong to a generation that is born and raised in technology-rich environments. They will use technologies that haven’t been invented so far and enter jobs that don’t exist at present. Globalisation and the demands of a knowledge economy and a knowledge society call for emphasis on the need for acquisition of new skills by learners on a regular basis, for them to ‘learn how to learn’ and become lifelong learners. The narrow time lag between the generation of new knowledge and its application, especially in the fields of science and technology, necessitate the periodic renewal of school and higher education curricula to maintain their relevance to the changing societal and personal needs of learners, and the emerging national development goals. The demographic dividend that India is fortunate to have is expected to last for only a little over 20 years. Therefore, it is essential that children and youth in the country are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values as well as employable skills that would enable them to contribute to India’s social, economic, and political transformation. 
”The direction of the global education development agenda is reflected in the sustainable development goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG4 seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. 

Young learners today belong to a generation that is born and raised in technology-rich environments. They will use technologies that haven’t been invented so far and enter jobs that don’t exist at present

”In a nutshell, educational opportunity requires an effective system to support learning, including supportive organisations, resources, and sound policies. Such a lofty goal will require the entire education system to be reconfigured to support learning. Else none of the goals of the SDGs can be achieved. Pedagogical innovations alone will not succeed 
  ”The biggest lacuna in the present education system is the lack of a coherent direction for planning and implementation of research at the university level. We have addressed this critical lacuna in this Policy by introducing, for the very first time a new National Research Foundation (NRF) that will focus on funding research within the education system, primarily at colleges and universities. The Foundation will encompass the four broad areas of Sciences, Technology, Social Sciences, and Arts & Humanities. 
Besides providing funding, NRF will also take care of the need to seed and build research capacity in universities and colleges through a formal mechanism of mentoring that will be instituted 
”With regard to regulation, we have made our recommendations based on a key principle namely, that regulation, provision of education, accreditation, funding, and standard setting, will all be done by separate entities, and that regulation will be kept to a minimum. This will eliminate conflicts of interest and the concentration of power. 
” we have made another unique suggestion to create a Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA)/National Education Commission (NEC). Education must be delivered in a holistic manner and the education system must be responsive to the fast-changing environment and the needs of a knowledge society. The RSA will bring in a new approach to governance that will draw considerable expertise through educationists, researchers and professionals, and provide oversight of the educational system that is consistent with the objectives of a 21st century education system. The organisational setup and the coordination structures for the RSA will draw their authority from the highest political levels of the country. This highest body is being placed under the responsibility of the Prime Minister himself/herself so that in his/ her role as the highest functionary of the government of the country, the Prime Minister can bring his/her authority to create the necessary synergies and provide direction to this national endeavour, as a part of the country’s overall vision of a knowledge society.  
:” Curriculum and pedagogy are transformed by 2022 in order to minimise rote learning and instead encourage holistic development and 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, scientific temper, communication, collaboration, multilingualism, problem solving, ethics, social responsibility, and digital literacy 
”Reduce curriculum content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking ”      

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