The recently released National Education Policy (NEP) is to be implemented in phases beginning 2021. In the past decades, we have seen similar policy recommendations such as the Kothari Commission, many that are yet to be implemented. A critical review of two earlier policies indicates there are gaps in implementation and limited training for educators. NEP 2020 should not suffer a similar fate, leading to delay in development of human potential, for progress of the nation.
NEP recommends restructuring of the entire education domain of India. It talks about foundational literacy and numeracy and skill education to transform India to face 21st century challenges. The success of any education policy rests upon the belief and efforts of its’ fraternity.
Educators must be proactive in understanding in detail the ethos, the aims, objectives and the motto of the NEP and upskill themselves with rigorous Continuous Professional Development programs, trainings, participation in seminars, workshops and conferences at various levels.
Implementation of NEP will require discarding the age-old practices of memorization and rote learning and adopting Constructivist pedagogies to go beyond textbooks and the aim must be to change from syllabus completion to achieving learning outcomes.
Educators must understand and embrace the concepts of integrated and multidisciplinary approaches and the need for development of 21st century skills. While implementing the NEP at the ground level, it becomes imperative for the teaching fraternity to have strong coordination, cooperation and the motivation to transform students’ life through skill and character building.
Apart from teachers, the onus for the successful implementation of NEP falls on those involved in drafting the National Curriculum framework – curriculum, syllabus and the assessment and evaluation strategies. If educators fall short in their task, the NEP policy will fall by the wayside and millions of young people will struggle for suitable employment upon graduation.
Hence the government/school heads must support teachers by mapping a teacher education program both in- service and pre-service which must be supported by policy makers of school education and the higher education.
The NEP emphasizes the teacher’s contribution, their sacrifice and efforts to uphold the dignity, respect and honour of this profession. This can happen only if the policymakers consider creating an independent agency like Teacher Recruitment Board/ Indian Teaching Services on the lines of Indian Administrative Services or State Civil Services and speeding the recruitment of the teachers which is pending for about a decade. The policy makers should be light in their approach, while giving them all the perks and facilities so as to attract the young, intelligent and creative minds in this profession but should be tight while monitoring them for getting the desired results, making them accountable and responsible.
If these are implemented, the best brains will come into this ecosystem as a preferred choice and lead India towards becoming a Vishwa Guru in the coming days.
Mr. Sunil Shrivastav
Kids’ Kingdom Public School