Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Minister of Education, noted that age-old education laws at state level are a major impediment to the implementation of the new national education policy ( NEP) in true spirit, and without a new legal framework, it will simply be a set of guidelines. “The recently introduced National Education Policy recommendations are progressive, but they need a supportive legal framework to realize their full potential. There are many provisions in different state education laws that restrict the proper implementation of NEP,” he said.
Furthermore, the minister added that the pre-primary education system in India lacks a framework, is not well regulated and varies even within states. “There is a need to establish a new legal framework for the NEP to align it with the forward-looking provisions of the NEP 2020. Otherwise, the policy will not be able to break through the hurdles created by existing legal provisions and age-old practices,” did he declare. added.
Sisodia mentioned that unlike the nation’s capital, the condition of 95-98% of public schools across the country is extremely poor, with the exception of a few “flagship schools” in each state.
“We talk about inclusive education in our policies, but the teacher, while completing the curriculum in the classroom, does it ensure that each child has a space to learn at their own pace. Are we training our future teachers to practice inclusion in our B.Ed program? We need to ensure that when teachers enter the classroom, they are not only masters of their subject, but have also deeply absorbed the principles of inclusive development as a core character,” Sisodia said.
“In the NEP, maximum emphasis was placed on the first five years. This is in line with thinking about early childhood education globally. But the pre-primary education system in India is very unsystematic and varies from state to state,” he said.
“Anganwadi focuses on children from zero to six years old, play schools have their own standards and year one has different criteria. While the new education policy emphasizes basic learning during the first five years. In such a situation, we need an implementation framework that really lays the foundation for lifelong learning,” he added.
The minister said the central government’s National Achievement Survey (NAS) for schools should not be limited to a high-stakes exam. “In India, we have a traditional three-hour annual examination process that decides the future of children. It causes a lot of stress in schools and leads to pressure on students to pass the exam,” he said.
“I’m concerned that the NAS will also change along the same lines, where getting high NAS scores has become the priority of state education departments. This will create additional pressure on the students. “The government should also look at the NAS framework and seek new assessment processes,” he added.
With entries from PTI.
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