The Draft New Education Policy 2018 (DNEP) is a grandiose report that covers a student’s whole life span from pre-education to the Ph.D. diploma in about 500 pages. Here, we observe what has been proposed about highschool education.
The draft says that all faculties, inclusive of public ones, will possess global-elegance infrastructure and feature in a position instructor and in full electricity to maintain the pupil-teacher ratio below 30. This can be supported with the aid of the quality creative teaching-getting to know styles, the exceptional college students teaching those who are weaker, and network volunteers pitching in as nicely. Students will learn many languages, have selections for elective topics and will have a look at approximately historic Indian understanding, scientific mood, ethical reasoning, virtual literacy, and social cognizance. Not just this, board examinations will now be made less “high stakes” and less “lifestyles figuring out”; they will now not require any cramming and might, therefore, be cleared with out education. School governance systems may be remodeled so that they feature with the very best performance.
The first trouble with this properly-intentioned record is that it has no experience of realism. One set of hints can not cowl desires throughout various social divides: rich versus negative faculties, urban as opposed to rural, elite as opposed to municipal, and so on. Some wealthy schools already have student-teacher ratios lower than 30 and are properly-prepared in each possible manner; however, we have colleges that barely exist, housed in a ramshackle room or two. Over one lakh colleges have simply one trainer (go away aside teacher satisfactory). What becomes needed is a set of specific and practical objectives for exclusive categories of faculties. “World class” facilities in a village college or teachers who are updated to the “modern day pedagogies” in a small city are a pipe dream, while the neighborhood socio-monetary milieu is so down in the dumps. This fact that we stay in a relatively unequal society, in which some sections live in dire poverty, appears to inform the policy pretty poorly.
Second, the file has a terrible experience of engagement with records. It does now not reside upon why we’ve got any such terrible infrastructure deficit in most public schools. Teacher vacancies have grown and feature remained unfilled for many years in public colleges, and a deficit prevails no matter the massive quantity of temporary teachers. Teachers are properly-paid best in affluent colleges. Permanent teachers in government faculties get a decent revenue, though likely not sufficient to make the profession engaging. The inventory of even the Kendriya Vidyalayas has fallen, due now not simply to understaffing, however additionally decay of infrastructure. Teacher absenteeism stays a persistent bane. Small, dysfunctional colleges, with only some students, dot rural regions. The policy report does now not tell us how we got here to this sorry bypass, nor, therefore, how we can come out of it.
The greatest and visible hassle is that of rote getting to know. How did we fall into, what Paulo Freire calls a “banking model” of schooling wherein instructors deposit expertise in lectures and college students produce it in examinations? It is in all likelihood that the pressure of big numbers of students in a class and the relative paucity of teachers has led us to this “most appropriate” answer of an inflexible, memorization-based pedagogy. It has given rise to assessment paperwork that depends mostly on short-answer, more than one choice questions with solutions which focus extra on accurate keywords rather than innovative analysis or expression. Why did innovative initiatives like Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) fall by the wayside? Any coverage that proposes to slay the demon of rote studying must first tell us why and how we fell into this pit. Merely pronouncing, in flowery prose, that we can take away rote mastering, will no longer clear up the problem. Where will we get instructors to do all the creative and custom designed stuff, educate so many languages and different multidisciplinary subjects (e.G., Virtual, climate) while we can’t discover sufficient to educate the routines ones like English and Mathematics?
Third, an experience of innocence pervades the draft. Many existing things are being paraded as a novel. The newly labeled foundational stage already has many sports like math puzzles, play-based totally gaining knowledge of, etc even inside the poorest of faculties. The 5+3+3+4, instead of the ten+2 college grades category, is only a beauty refresh. Much of what happens in Grades 1 to 12 today is much like what has been labeled in the draft file as “basis”, “preparatory”, “middle” and “secondary” stages. The point should have been to interrogate those classifications extra deeply as to how valid these are within the mild of present-day debates.
There is also this old fashioned obsession with jargon. Using words like “deep” or “experiential” more than one times can also lend gravitas to a file however, does now not assist with any real solutions.
The suggestions concerning the inclusion of ancient Indian expertise into the curricula is welcome; however this deserves unique care to separate delusion from records, and empirically validated expertise from pseudoscientific claims. There is likewise the inclusion of medical mood in the curricula but right here brews combat between culture and modernity. Will our faculties be allowed to discuss this?