Viewpoint: A New Learning Curve

09 AUG,2020 | MEDC


 

India’s National Education Policy (NEP) is a genuine attempt to infuse some fresh thinking into an outdated instruction system. The NEP’s focus on innovation and change at a time when our society is undergoing an unprecedented transition is noteworthy. The stress on critical thinking and problem solving will help the country produce global citizens in an increasingly borderless and technology-driven world. India needs to produce a large class of knowledge workers, and the NEP seems to be in tune with that socially desirable objective. Some students learn best in a structured environment and others in an unstructured one. The NEP makes an honest attempt to accommodate both of these learning styles, something which has been officially tried for the first time in the country. In an increasingly globalized world, we need to give the next generation not only wings, but also roots. In this regard, the NEP does well by leaving the choice of three languages to be learnt to individual states, regions and students … as long as at least two of the three languages are native to India. This will help to preserve the country’s rich sociocultural heritage in its march to modernization. The NEP also expands the digital marketplace by emphasizing digitally enabled classrooms and digital literacy. That is a much needed step for India’s future. It is only to be hoped that this strong emphasis on electronic learning does not accentuate the already large socioeconomic divide prevalent in the country.The NEP recognizes that students, teachers, and institutions need to work as an integrated whole to create sustainable value addition to society. This is probably its greatest achievement. This new design will lessen the need to avail of coaching classes, which have become almost a necessary evil throughout the nation. Teachers are a vital part of the education system, and improving their quality and skills is key to the success of the NEP. Given that good teachers attract good students and vice-versa, no effort should be spared to restore the quality of teachers to what it was in Ancient India. The real challenge lies in training faculty to be able to understand and deliver the new educational model in its entirety, not just in letter but equally in spirit. It is sometimes as important to be on the forgetting curve as it is to be on the learning curve, and India’s educational system must look ahead at a new and brighter future, referring to the past only to avoid repeating its mistakes.

*Photo Credit: Google

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