Draft National Education Policy Pushes Centralising Agenda

A draft National Education Policy coming out many years after the second one National Policy on Education changed into promulgated in 1986 and distilled through five years of several draft panels and countrywide consultations obviously consists of expectancies. However, the 2019 draft appears to best air some loud and naive wondering, a few properly-intentioned however unsubstantiated ideas and some smartly crafted statements on the contentious supposed motion.

The draft’s eponymous bankruptcy on ‘foundational literacy and numeracy’ describes a severe “learning disaster” and warns that the country could lose “10 crore or more students — the scale of a large u. S. A . — from the learning system”. It then is going directly to solve that this can’t be allowed to manifest. “The value is far too first-rate— to crores of individuals and to the state. Attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all youngsters must become a right away national assignment,” it notes.

It then goes on to state, almost tautologically, that the cause in the back of that is a “lack of school preparedness”, trouble which the draft says acutely ‘afflicts’ youngsters from disadvantaged socio-monetary backgrounds without getting admission to to pre-primary schooling.

Hiding in the back of terms like ‘fun’

It asserts that early grade education does now not lay emphasis on studying, writing and talking or on mathematical ideas and wondering, however movements quickly directly to rote learning. In real truth, ‘rote’ mastering frames all of the training, its expectancies, syllabi, texts, teaching, and assessment at all tiers, as has been regarded and mentioned by all the earlier guidelines. So how does this policy renowned, recognize or face that systemic undertaking? It does not, however, maintains with “If and whilst rote studying is used, it’ll constantly be pre-observed by means of context and motivation and publish observed with the aid of analysis and discussion” (p. Seventy six).

Moreover, it provides, “If college students are given a strong foundation in analyzing, writing, speakme, counting, mathematics, mathematical and logical thinking, hassle-solving…then all other future lifelong studying will become…more fun.”

Enumerating counting, mathematics and mathematical thinking as specific factors of foundational numeracy shows lay expertise of ‘mastering’ that runs via the document, regularly hiding at the back of the repeated use of terms which include ‘bendy’ and ‘fun’.

In Curriculum and Pedagogy (bankruptcy 4), we get a dream menu of variations and combos of this ‘fun’. From ‘interactive fun classrooms’ (p. Seventy six), to language coaching in a ‘fun and interactive fashion’ (p. Eighty five) as carried out with the aid of Samskrita Bharati and Alliance Française, for Sanskrit and French (however likely no longer for the ones of their early years).

Contrary to theories of learning, it recommends harnessing the “extraordinarily flexible capability” (p. 79) of young students, from pre-school onwards, who would be “exposed to 3 or extra languages with the aim of developing talking proficiency and interplay, and the potential to recognize scripts and examine simple texts, in all three languages by means of Grade three” (p. 81). It also states that during grades six to 8 each pupil will take a ‘fun route’ (p. 86) at the languages of India. Multilingualism and know-how of range are critical ambitions but now not carried out in such an ad-hoc manner.

It provides that puzzles or competitions to write down on a topic without a given sound/alphabet can provide an “a laugh way to recognize and play with language” (p. 93).

Incidentally, such ideas have been utilized in NCERT language or arithmetic textbooks, however no longer as arbitrarily and in reality now not for ‘a laugh’, as they seem to be indexed within the policy.

Lack of focus on how college students will imbibe talents

An essential theme on integrating work and training, no longer for a vocation but as a medium of mastering from lifestyles and for existence, which has been carried out with the aid of the Zakir Hussain Committee (1938), has not been severely discussed in any respect. The draft claims that “exposure to sensible vocational-fashion schooling is continually fun for younger students” (p. 94) and recommends, without any modalities, that each student will take a fun 12 months-long direction on a survey of vocational talents and crafts, someday among grades six and eight, with a few palms-on revel in of carpentry, electric work, gardening, pottery, and so on.