O N Koul
By education is meant all round development of man’s body, mind and spirit and drawing out best in individuals. In a democracy education should make worthy and capable citizens who can contribute to national and societal development commission after commission had been constituted to reform educational sector but much still remains to be done and educationists administrators and policy planners should give urgent attention towards the limitations and loopholes in the educational system and make provisions and efforts to address the same and reform education and make it as an important and potent tool of modification of individuals character so that they can contribute to national development. The National Policy on Education is a policy formulated by Govt. of India to promote education amongst Indian people. The policy is for elementary education to colleges education in both rural and urban India to national development and social cohesion. Not that we do not have an educational policy but there is need to have new national education policy. So new national education policy is in the offing and the draft new educational policy is circulated in the country for suggestion from the people. Thus for debate and discussion national education policy has been put in the public domain and the public is requested to offer suggestion amendments etc to the proposed educational policy but it is unfortunate that the policy’s language formula has been attacked and criticized in Tamil Nadu and it has been unfortunately seen as an attempt to enforce Hindi on non Hindi states. But the fact should be realized by one and all that Hindi is the national and official language of India and it should as such get an important place in national educational policy and those opposing it have no reason and logic to oppose it. The committee for Draft National Education Policy chaired by Dr. K. Kasturirnngan submitted its report on May 31, 2019. The committee was constituted by the ministry of human resource development in June 2017. The report proposes an education policy which seeks to address the challenges of (i) access (ii) equity (iii) quality (iv) Affordability and accountability faced by the current education system. The draft policy provides for reform at all levels of education from school to university education. It seeks to increase the focus on early childhood to increase the focus on early childhood care, reform the current examination system, strengthen the teacher training and restructure the education regulatory framework. It also seeks to set up National Education Commission, increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of technology & increase focus on vocational education and adult education among other things. Key observation and recommendations of the draft policy are:
(A) School education
(1) Early childhood care and education.
(2) Right to Education Act, 2009
(3) Curriculum framework.
(4) School examination reform
(5) School Infrastructure
(6) Teacher management
(7) Regulation of school
(B) Higher education: According to All India Survey on Higher education, the gross enrolment ration (GER) in higher education in India has increased from 20.8% in 2011-12 to 25.8% in 2017-18.
(1) Regulatory structure & accreditation
(2) Establishment of new higher educational institution.
(3) Restructuring of higher educational institutions.
(4) Establishing a National Research Foundation.
(5) Moving towards a liberal approach.
(6) Professional development of faculty.
(7) Optimal learning environment
(9) Financing education:- The draft policy reaffirmed the commitment of spending 60% of GDP as public investment on education. The first national education policy (NEP) 1986 had recommended that public expenditure on education must be 6% of GDP.
(10) Technology in education
(11) National mission on Education through information and communication in technology.
(12) Vocational Education
(13)National Committee for integration of Vocational Education.
(15) Education & Indian languages
In this connection it should be noted that the first NEP 1986 introduced three languages formula which implies and stated that the state governments should adopt and implement study of a modern Indian language – preferably one of the southern languages apart from Hindi and English in Hindi speaking states and Hindi along with regional language and English in Non Hindi speaking states. The draft policy recommended that this three language formula should continue facing pressure from Tamil Naidu against the draft Education Policy’s recommendation for teaching Hindi in all the states, the union government has issued a modified draft leaving out a controversial clause. In the modified draft uploaded by HRD ministry a section titled flexibility in the choice of languages has been changed omitting any reference to which languages students may choose.
There is no mention of Hindi in the clause. The revised policy requires proficiency in any three languages. HRD minister has rightly said that there is no imposition of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states, but at the same time it should be realized that Hindi is the national and official language of India and it should be given its due place and three language formula is a right step in this regard and it should not become a subject of controversy. Amid row, Hindi clause is removed from revised educational Policy. It is unfortunate that CPI (M) has said that three language formula will lead to linguistic chauvinism .In fact the three language formula in revised manner will lead the national cohesion, pride & integration.
O N Koul