The nation’s top leadership on Monday called for more effective implementation of New Education Policy (NEP) to take India forward as per needs and aspirations of 21st century and get the youth better prepared for future.
Addressing Governors on New Education Policy, President Ram Nath Kovind said that it will take the country, especially the youth, forward in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the twenty-first century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked NEP focuses on learning instead of studying and goes beyond curriculum to focus on critical thinking.
The meeting was attended by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, administrators and education ministers of the States/Union Territories.
What the President said?
President Kovind said that education is the most effective way for social justice and hence the National Education Policy calls for an investment of about 6 per cent of GDP jointly by the Centre and the States. He said the NEP emphasises on strengthening of public educational institutions for a vibrant democratic society and at the same time inculcate respect among students for Fundamental Rights, Duties, Constitutional values and patriotism.
Briefing the Governors about NEP, President Kovind said socially and economically disadvantaged groups (SEDGs) have been given priority in this policy through various initiatives. It includes providing foundational literacy and numeracy to all children at primary school level by 2025.
Reiterating the role of teachers in NEP, President Kovind said that teachers will have a central role in the new education system, the most promising people being selected for the teaching profession. With this perspective, a new and comprehensive curriculum for teachers’ education will be formulated by next year, he said.
Talking about the importance of vocational education, President Kovind said that less than 5 per cent of the workforce in India received formal vocational education which is nominal in comparison to the western countries. Hence, in NEP vocational education will be considered as a part of mainstream education and such education will be given equal status which will make the children not only more skilled but will also generate respect and dignity of labour, he said.
President Kovind also observed that it has been widely accepted that the mother tongue should be the medium of primary education and hence the new policy adopts the spirit of the three-language formula. It has the benefit of encouraging the Indian languages, arts and culture which is a significant step in preserving the unity and integrity of our country characterised by great linguistic diversity.
PM’s opening remarks
According to Modi, NEP takes out the pressure from students for taking specific streams. “Our youth will now be able to learn according to their interests,” he said. Earlier, students used to pick a stream beyond their aptitude and they would realise it much later, and these problems have been addressed in the NEP.
“With vocational exposure right from early age, our youth will get better prepared for life,” he said, adding that their participation in the global job market and employability in India will increase with practical learning.
The prime minister said that the education policy like defence and foreign policies is not of the government but of the country. “It is our collective responsibility that the policy is implemented in letter and spirit. The more teachers, parents, students are associated with education policy, the more relevant and broadbased it will be,” he added.