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Saturday, Aug 08, 2020 14:15 [IST]

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The pursuit of knowledge through NEP

The pursuit of knowledge is more valuable than its possession – Albert Einstein

KAMAL BARUA
Eklavya is remembered as the greatest disciple ever for his loyalty towards guru Dronacharyafor cutting off his right thumb and placed it at Guru’s feet as Guru Dakshina. Such was the storyfrom Indian Mythology where Dronacharya was humbled and blessed Eklavya for loyalty towards guru.Attainment of knowledge was not the aim for education in ancient India, there is life beyond schooling. Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila, Vallabhi produced great scholars such as Charaka (Ayurveda),Sushruta (Physician) Aryabhata,Varahamihira, Bhaskaracarya, Brahmagupta(Mathematician-Astronomer), Chanakya (philosopher, economist, royal advisor), Panini (Philologist, grammarian), Patanjali (a sage) and Sankardev (a saint scholar) who made contributions to world knowledge in diverse fields.
Those rich legacies must put to new uses through our education systems.Hindus and Muslims are educated through Pathsala and Madrassa respectively, but Missionaries under British create a class of Indian to act as interpreters between the Government and the masses. Lord Thomas Babington introduced the modern education system in 1830 and brought English language. Several schools for boys and girls were established separately under the supervision of Theosophical Educational Trust (1939). Later Ram Krishna Mission carries out western ideal of education with the Indian roots to inspire us universally.
After Independence India address the issues of illiteracy and we have moved up to 73% literacy from 18% in 1951. Kothari Commission 1964-66 recommended radical restructuring on the first National Policy on Education. In 1986, NPE focussed on issues of access and equity,emphasising on the removal of disparities,creating equal education opportunity for “child-centred approach” by launching “Operation Blackboard”. In 1992, it was envisaged to conduct a common entrance exam for JEE, AIEEE for national level and SLEEE with option to AIEEE. The act 2009 laid down the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education.
The knowledge landscape in 21st century is undergoing huge successthereby unskilled jobs took over by machines and skilled workforce is in great demand.  Being among the three largest economies in the world,now National EducationPolicy 2020 envisions transforming India into Bharat providing high quality education making India a global knowledge superpower with reflecting its people a truly global citizen.It aims to address from literacy to numeracy and critical thinking. Besides higher education, it emphasise on professional education, promotion of Indian Language, Arts and Culture and Digital Education. But NEP gives utmost importance on School Education to make it happen.
The previous academic structure 10+2 has been modified with a new pedagogical and curricular structure 5+3+3+4.  The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from age 3 are included to promote better overall learning, development and well-being for young minds. Most of young children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds have been deprived off from ECCE. Japanese education system is the envy to the world for its teaching respect and manners of children. India however decided play-based activities to focus on developing social sensitivity, ethics, early language, literacy and numeracy.
The framework is included both for parents and educational institutions for early childhood care. The noblest role of the teacher must be respected. The shape of our next generation of citizens depends on the teaching profession and teachers are to be empowered effectively.Their motivation and empowerment could ensure possible future for our children.  Teachers’ education has a vital role to shape the next generation. Teachers must have Indian values, knowledge, traditions and pedagogy and that’s only possible through organised training methodology. 
So far they are essentially selling degrees for a price as Justice JS Verma Commission 2012 constituted. Integrating trained Anganwadis teachers in primary school could serve ECCE well. NEPadvises teacher to go for TEI, B.Ed or Ph.D programs touplift themselves rather its possession. A large number of teachers for all languages under eighth schedule of the constitution of India would be placed to satisfy the three language formula with the help of Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing DIKSHA to serve the bridge any language barriers and children are to be provided quality education to excel with targeted opportunities for global needs.
Also 100% health check-ups for immunization, pupil-teacher ratio 25:1 planned under this NEP. An effort to ensure universal access and afford opportunity from pre-school to Grade 12 has been planned. To empower flexibility in course choices, physical education, the arts and crafts and vocational skills are incorporated in addition to science, humanities and mathematics. Foreign languages are also offered at the secondary level.It required timely infusion of infrastructure for trained teacher and financial resources in vernaculars.
Education needs careful planning and joint monitoring. The Govt promised to utilize 6% GDP on education. All these required effective collaborative implementation by multiple educational bodies in a synchronized and systematic manner. One India one education could make it possible through coherence in planning and synergy across the country. NEP hopes the entire policy in operational mode until 2030-40 and the policy will further be reviewed another comprehensive.
To achieve universal access to education for childhood care to literacy, numeracy, there is a need in inclusive learning through a holistic, integrated approach where children get engaged for enjoyable learning environment and trained teachers,  efficient resources and effective administration can make it all difference for the pursuit of knowledge. Can NEP be a guiding light to early education at school level? Teach them in mother tongue about our rich heritage of ancient knowledge and thought, soon they will understand the values, wisdom and truth of education. They are the future of our country Bharat.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi