The new education policy is soon to be revealed. It has been four years in the making. Though no details are known, the major focus it is said will be on improvement of quality of education, curriculum, bringing in new technology, and changing the pedagogy. This is truly music to one’s ears as the present education system is due for an overhaul. This system was inherited from a colonial past where the need of the day was to have a docile workforce willing to follow rules blindly. There was no room for independent thinking or creativity.
Over the years we have witnessed how the system has deteriorated to become one where learning by rote is lauded. Today you simply need to learn your text book by heart to get a 100% even in subjects like English. There is no room for personal views or creative thinking. And as entry to colleges is based on marks, only those who have the ability to learn by heart can hope to accede to higher education in state run universities. This means that children from humbler homes, who cannot compete with their peers from richer ones and who cannot effort private universities simply fall off the wagon.
What the present system is teaching today is not in sync with the needs of the XXIst century job market. Some of the skills required to succeed in today’s world are critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, initiative, leadership etc. One sincerely hopes that the new education policy will address some of these so that those who graduate will have a fair chance on the emerging job market. School education should be able to inculcate such skills in each and every child. This is a far cry for what they are taught today!
Many countries have changed their school education system and one of most acclaimed is Finland’s. For the Finns, ‘real winners do not compete’ and school is not about competing but about cooperating. School becomes an even playing field where all children find their place in the sun.
I hope and pray that the new education policy will rid the education of system of its colonial past and usher in the changes needed to succeed in this day and age. India children are bright and deserve the best.