Draft National Education Policy 2019 gives a rosy picture by bringing in changes in the education system, but experts are concerned about the implementation, hoping to have a strong action plan.
Anil Swaroop, former secretary, department of School Education and Literacy, calls it a collection of well-documented ideas but far from reality. “The policy document is well-researched and comprehensive but does not address the grassroots problems. It does not discuss the challenges behind the earlier reforms not getting implemented,” he said.
He added that the solutions to some of the deep-rooted problems of the education system lie in the interiors of the country. “We need to understand, appreciate, replicate and scale the innovative practices across the country before looking at teaching pedagogies of foreign countries,” said Swaroop at the Globalised Education Forum 2019 organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) recently.
Shakila T Shamsu, OSD (NEP), department of Higher Education, MHRD, said, “The new policy is aimed at leveraging the country’s demographic dividend. The policy incorporates aspects of the previous policies, but the earlier versions of the education policy did not address the challenges of the 21st century.”
The policy is also said to merge regulatory bodies such as the Medical Council of India and Bar Council of India under the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority NHERA. But, Shamsu said that legal and medical education may not be put under the ambit of MHRD. “The National Medical Commission (NMC) has been recently constituted and merging legal education as per the policy may propose administrative challenges,” she said.
Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), urged all the higher education institutions (HEIs) to focus on innovation to improve the overall system.
“India has been a poor performer in innovation. Five years ago, it stood at 81st position in the Global Innovation Index and has now moved to 52nd rank. Universities offering an exclusive discipline such as engineering, law and technology must focus on multidisciplinary education to promote innovation,” said Sahasrabudhe.