In general the National Education Policy 2016 is quite comprehensive and appreciable. Special mention to the below aspects that can make a big difference through effective implementation. Going by the way the NDA government is implementing various programs, we are more hopeful of effective implementation of the policy to achieve the stated objectives.

Also added at the bottom are few recommendations for due consideration by the designated authorities.

Welcome moves

– “Teacher development programmes will have components to help teachers appreciate the importance of co-scholastic activities especially life skills, ethical education, physical education and arts and crafts and introduce these effectively into the teaching learning process in schools”. A very timely and necessary inclusion that will change the way teacher approaches the process of teaching

– “Special emphasis will be laid on improving the effectiveness of programmes for the initial preparation and continuing professional development of teachers. The diploma and graduate teacher education programmes and the teacher training institutions will be reviewed for changes in duration, pattern, structure, curricula and delivery to overcome their existing limitations.” A long standing need for improvising the education delivery and enhancing student competence and confidence levels… Ankur’s Professional Development of Teachers’ program is aimed to serve this purpose

– “No mechanism for assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has been developed so far. To overcome this gap, the Government will, within a year endeavour to develop a mechanism to assess and certify such skills and competencies and facilitate the entry of those who have no formal education and training but have acquired the skills without any certification for possession of those skills.” A hit in the bull’s eye… This will help tap immense potential that is not put to use just because they do not have necessary qualification. We know a vast majority of people are in careers that have no relation to their basic qualification. This is more so in the private sector.

– “Examinations will be designed to test wider awareness, understanding and comprehension and higher order problem solving skills, and not merely ability to reproduce text book material.” This raises hopes that days of rote learning is coming to an end. Are the schools and multitude of coaching centers ready for this change? As a parent are you preparing your child for this change? If your child in 4th or 5th grade is undergoing IIT coaching, are you aware how the IIT entrance exam scheme turns out to be once this is implemented? It is time to prepare our children to face the world as it turns out to be, not as it is now.

– “…with the advent of internet and ever expanding digital connectivity when we do not even need to visit libraries and information are available at the click of a button. There is therefore a need to shift from the information-based education system to a value-based education system imparting life skills which can contribute to man-making and nation- building.

There is a need to renew curricula at all levels of education with special emphasis on the emerging learning areas. Some of the curricular thrusts should include enabling learners to respond to the impact of globalization and the demands of the emerging knowledge- based economy and society; meet the learning needs of diverse groups of learners; linking education with life-skills and the world of work; generating concern relating to sustainable development; responding to instructional arrangements that are moving towards greater flexibility and individualization etc.

The whole assessment system needs to be revamped to ensure comprehensive assessment of the students, including learning outcomes relating to both scholastic and co-scholastic domains. There is also a need to institutionalize a system which tracks student progress in both the scholastic and co-scholastic domains across years. Curriculum should be outcome-based and aim for overall development of students through imparting life-skills in an increasingly technology driven environment.”

A tall order for the current breed of teachers and huge, but necessary burden on the current education system. Facilitating private professionals’ participation through third party training programs and outsourcing of services will help. Developing the right brain activity through active co-scholastics adds value. Jiva Vigyan (Life-SKILLS) program Ankur offers takes the YogaPLUS approach to effectively complement in this space.

– “Students are many times faced with dilemma in making the right academic choices based on their aptitude and interests which results in failure to realise their true potential resulting in poor achievement, disappointment and stress. Academic aptitude tests will be conducted at various stages to assist students in identifying their true potential and areas of interest.

Helplines will be set up and professional counsellors will be engaged in schools to overcome this limitation and also identify children with special learning needs, assist slow learners and underachievers, help in right choice of courses including vocational skill-based programs, and guide secondary and higher secondary students about relevant employment opportunities.”

Another timely move in empowering the child to be more than just be employable, but a confident decision maker to realise the country’s demographic dividend. Glad to note Ankur’s Life-SKILLS program Jiva Vigyan has envisaged and included this.

And here are some recommendations

– “Physical education, yoga, games and sports, NCC, NSS, art education, Bal Sansad covering local art, craft, literature and skills, and other co-scholastic activities will be made an integral part of the curriculum and daily routine in schools for the holistic development of children. Facilities for the above will be a pre-requisite to the recognition of schools”

Implementation of this is a challenge as long as a section of the management and parents consider this irrelevant. There is a need to orient parents and school management, to ensure they are also on the same page and take efforts for quality delivery of above. Frequently time allotted for these activities is used to cover backlog in scholastic syllabus. Parental and student feedback for school quality assessment and school grading can act as a check.

-Facilitate parent participation in school quality assessment and accreditation will improve parental involvement in school activities in urban areas, while in rural it will ensure quality assurance in schools – both government and private

-Facilitate student and alumnus participation in higher educational institutions’ assessment and accreditation shall help in grading the institutions more appropriately. This can be taken up through independent online assessment mechanisms, based on database received from the educational institutions.

-Integration of co-scholastic skills and life-skills with student assessment is a good move for ensuring holistic development of students. On similar lines Life-SKILLS education modules need to be integrated with all Skill Development Programs and vocational education programs in skill schools, vocational training centres, skill development centres, ITIs, etc., National Skill Development Council and State Skill Development Councils can be made partners in the process.

© 2015 Ankurlearning.com

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