Being literates doesn’t mean being educated. An illiterate can be educated too. The process of learning neither begins from school nor does it end with it yet school does play a major role in shaping an individual’s personality as far as knowledge and ethics are concerned. As the times change, the methodology to approach the students too should change.
We in India for three decades followed a particular system of education without any changes. Inspite of spending15 years of one’s life in school and colleges, India was ranked 59th among 64 countries in education.
Government of India in 2020 with an intention of bringing in an educational reform introduced a draft bill on New Education Policy (NEP). India too in its NEP draft has proposed on vocational training and stream flexible system as that of countries like Germany.
In Germany, after fourth standard the students are categorised into three as Gymnasium, Realschule and hauptschule based on their Interest on learning. The one good at obtaining bookish knowledge will be put under Gymnasium and other in Realschule where along with vocational training the student earns his/her living too. In country like India, when carpentry, plumbing etc. are low category works with low wages, the salary of a carpenter to that of an engineer will almost be similar with high standard of living in Germany; all credits to vocational training system.
Post 15 years of class room education we in India are still to get a separate course to clear any of the competitive examinations. The graduates coming out every year face unemployment problem, the main reason being lack of skill and ability! If past five years’ question papers are referred just for a week before the examination a student can score 80+ percentage of marks. Thus, we badly are in need of reforms in all levels of education.
Considering all the factors, NEP is indeed a rain in a drought prone land. But, facilitating swimming pool in a water scarce area and constructing a running track to the one with no legs are not the way how a reform is expected to be introduced.
Indian contribution towards its educational sector as per 2019 report is just 3% in its GDP where as the countries like Norway with 6.6% contribution stands highest. The cost of education in India is way too high. Education being ones right, stands at the cost of one’s affordability. In spite of coexistence of government and private schools, the cost of education for higher education, especially for professional courses are way too high and have shattered the dream of many.
Currently proposed educational policy proposes no words on improvisation of existing government schools rather encourages the private schools. It will hit the rural poor very badly. Facilitating vocational training if becomes easy for private schools at the cost of parents’ money, government schools which are already in a dilapidated state has no choice than destruction.
With india already being ranked 59th for its education system, certification such as Diploma, Degree or PhD proposed under the new policy brings no change other than encouraging significant number of unskilled, half-knowledged students with certification to the hub of unemployment.
Gandhi came to India all the way from Africa but succeeded in understanding Indian society and so was accepted by the masses. Same way, when a foreign model of education is accepted it should come with complete understanding and practical understanding of existing state of the society for its successful implementation and so is the expectation from current policy.
Image courtesy IANS