A few years ago we had the sorry example of Indian professors of history from Indian universities who bent over backwards, hid facts, refused to be even handed in their analyses. When the judges asked them about the bases of their strongly held views on say the demolition of the Babri masjid, the #historyprofessors from JNU, DU etc. cut a very sorry figure
It would be hard to name any other occupation with a more cowardly record than academics, wrote Thomas Sowell in 2008. He was referring to American academics. His remarks would well fit Indian professors too. In addition to being cowardly the typical Indian academic is also brainless, without any honour and eager to follow someone in power– whether it be ideas from white America or sucking up to sundry prime ministers in India, Narendra Modi included. Little wonder that such academics are ignored by everyone, including those whom they revere.
A few years ago we had the sorry example of Indian professors of history from Indian universities who bent over backwards, hid facts, refused to be even handed in their analyses. When the judges asked them about the bases of their strongly held views on say the demolition of the Babri masjid, the #historyprofessors from JNU, DU etc. cut a very sorry figure and had to confess that they had no bases for the views that they had been propagating in favour of the #Babrimasjid for so long.
Similarly, the professors of political science, sociology and economics. They revel in reproducing ideas and opinions they learn by watching graduate students from universities in the US and UK. They feel scared in providing details of their own field studies, especially when their field studies controvert the assertions of the white men from the west. Even their radicalism and questioning of the state and society in India is based on mindlessly copying various fashions from American and British universities.
Being a ‘leftist’ or a ‘Marxist’ came in as a good excuse for the cowardly Indian academic for claiming that their brainlessness was actually part of some wider academic trend in the world.
Rajiv Lochan is an acclaimed scholar, historian and columnist.
How international curriculum needs to be introduced in India
Need for training educational professionals
Importance of international education
Challenges of today’s early years education system
New breed of teachers with the right methodology
How international curriculum is a boon to raise next generation leaders and professionals
Today, technology has successfully evaporated the global boundaries as we see that both academics and jobs have gone international. It is important to introduce our children to the global and Indian curriculum all together during their early years of education, for them to adapt and develop all-rounder skills required to face the global challenges of tomorrow. It is observed that every parameter of a child’s learning will have an accentuated touch for the future of our population and the Indian economy. Global subjects have a greater importance than those that are country-specific to form the global leaders of tomorrow. From introducing smart learning and smart classes, the education system is moving forward to show a wave of change and growth where international boards are entering the Indian curriculum while adjusting to the Indian academic system. These programmes come with equal benefits for the child bringing the value for money factor as there is a high investment taken to build such a curriculum.
With the changing landscape of today after the COVID pandemic, schools have now adapted new ways of teaching with an entire shift in the format of the curriculum being delivered. Like for the child, it is extremely important for the teachers of any educational institution to up-skill themselves. This needs to be done to adapt to the new standards of internationally accredited education and skills of teaching children online, to ensure that a child receives education in its appropriate form to equip the child for lifelong learning. Moreover, as a person’s brain develops until he is 6 years, the methods of practical teaching for the early years age group has seen an even intense change in its online curriculum patterns to make an added impact for the early years education. The Indian National Education Policy 2020 gives the ECCE sector tremendous focus and importance from a teacher-trainingpoint of view for teachers to empower and lead change with responsibility and values. There being a plethora of career opportunities opening up for skilled early education practitioners it becomes very important for the professional to undergo training at a regular interval.
Complementing the efforts made by the Government of India in 2020, KLAY in collaboration with Finland International Education(FINE) has launched an internationally accredited teacher training programme, based on the Finnish early childhood education pedagogy that would cater to the learning needs of children in the new world order. The Finnish education system which dates back to the late 19th century is a world-renowned curriculum focusing on early years education where teachers are encouraged to help children develop comprehensive competences and skills needed in life, character strengths by promoting positive self-esteem among children via the positive pedagogy methodology, and skills to develop cognitive skills through art, music and play from every situation and activity promoting inclusivity and acceptance among children through optimum participation. This program equips teachers with valuable tools and the technical know-how to meet the challenges of today’s early years education system and provides the opportunity to learn Finland’s early years best practices while sitting in the comfort of one’s homes. Such a skill set is important to be equipped with today’s children and teachers to raise Next Generation professionals in our country.
The joint authored article written by Meghna Yadav – Child Psychologist and Family Counsellor, and the Head of Training and Development at KLAY and Johan Storgard, CEO, FINE
Coinciding with the Assam government’s decision to close all the state-run madrassas from November 2020 announced by the State Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, London based humanist Khalid Umar has advocated the urgent need for India to implement a Uniform Education Code in the country. He has underscored the drawbacks of the Islamic Madarsa system and said they should be closed down for the sake of maintaining unity and peace. We are publishing his brainstorming piece on this issue for initiating debate and building public opinion.
One country, one curriculum is the recipe of communal harmony and peace in India
Before the Uniform Civil Code, India needs a Uniform Education Code. One secular curriculum for all. When there be 3,60,000 young minds stuck in the curriculum developed in the 1700s in 3,000 madrassas in the Indian capital alone you can’t dream to take the nation ahead with millions enrolled in the 600,000 madrassa countrywide with additionally 40-50 lac mosques with attached makatab or madrasa.
WHAT IS TAUGHT IN MADRASSAS
A madrasa is an exclusivist religious school, where MUSLIM children are taught Quran, the Sharia, Hadith, Islamic history of invasions (Jihad). The institution of Islamic madrasas in India is as old as the history of Islam in India, say 1000 years. The syllabus teaches the students to hate all non-Muslims, especially the Hindus who being idolaters are dubbed as hateful human beings, called ‘kaffirs’. Ghana-i-Hind (the goal of establishment of Islamic rule across India through Jihad) is also taught in almost every madrassa, both in India and Pakistan. Madrasahs produce indoctrinated minds, full of hate, fear and false pride.
This derelict institution can’t be reformed. Outright scrap page is the solution. Helping them is writing your own obituary.
The UPA Government initiated an ill-thought plan. A “Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas” (SPQEM in 2009-10 to encourage Madarsas and Maktabs to introduce formal subjects i.e. Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi and English; The scheme is STILL ongoing in 18 states in the country. So far under SPQEM, over 21,000 Madarsas spread over different states have been given Rs. 1138 crores. Only in the Uttar Pradesh there are 18,27,566 children in 8584 Madrasas, as per GOI figures.
THAT is absolutely mindless.
Core Islamic scripture, as taught, can’t be made secular and humanistic. This scheme initiated by Congress is a sheer loss of time and exchequer and it must be scrapped forthwith.
WHY MADRASSAS CAN’T BE REFORMED
ISLAMIC TEACHINGS and modern education can’t coexist. Would the students of madrassa trust Science that says Earth is spherical and revolves around the SUN or will believe QURAN which say, Earth is flat and the SUN sets in murky water of a lake? How can you teach them harmony and love when they learn from Quran that all IDOLATORS are consigned to the eternal HELL-FIRE?
WHAT THE MODI GOVERNMENT MUST DO IMMEDIATELY
1- All madrassas must be nationalised, registered and the state should have the writ to appoint teachers, administrators and approve the curriculum. Their financials & source of income be scrutinised. All the madrassa be converted into modern schools open to all the communities. Community exclusive, organised & institutionalised religious education must be scrapped for any religion. ALL children must be taught uniform curriculum.
2- All the mosques must be monitored through CCTV recording to check what is being taught and fed. If China and Egypt can control mosques, why can’t India, the second largest Muslim population country?
If you don’t control mullah, mosque and madrassa, peace and communal harmony in India will remain a pipe dream.
New Policy aims for Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % GER in school education by 2030
New 5+3+3+4 school curriculum with 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi/ Pre-schooling
Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools
Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships
Teaching upto at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language
Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
GER in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education
Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects
Multiple Entry/Exit to be allowed with appropriate certification
Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits
National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture
Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions
Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to colleges
NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity; National Educational Technology Forum to be created
NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and HEs; National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit
Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 on Wednesday 29 July 2020, paving the way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.
Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education
NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre school to secondary. Infrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream, tracking of students and their learning levels, facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, association of counselors or well-trained social workers with schools, open learning for classes3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programs are some of the proposed ways for achieving this. About 2 crore out of school children will be brought back into main stream under NEP 2020.
Early Childhood Care & Education with new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure
With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.
NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 . ECCE will be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of institutions including Anganwadis and pre-schools that will have teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.
Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
Recognizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, NEP 2020 calls for setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD. States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025.A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.
Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy
The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.
Multilingualism and the power of language
The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. Students to participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.
NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity. All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim. A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body .
Equitable and Inclusive Education
NEP 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background. Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities. This includes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups. Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education, with support of educators with cross disability training, resource centres, accommodations, assistive devices, appropriate technology-based tools and other support mechanisms tailored to suit their needs. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras
Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path
Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators. A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions.
Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters which will be the basic unit of governance and ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries and a strong professional teacher community.
Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education
NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters. States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability. The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.
Increase GER to 50 % by 2035
NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.
Holistic Multidisciplinary Education
The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example, Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.
An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.
Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have four independent verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. HECI will function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
Rationalised Institutional Architecture
Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions providing high quality teaching, research, and community engagement. The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges.
Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty
NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of faculty thorugh clearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment , freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership. Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable
A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).
A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.
Financial support for students
Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.
Open and Distance Learning
This will be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER. Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.
Online Education and Digital Education:
A comprehensive set of recommendations for promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.
Technology in education
An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration. Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration and management
Promotion of Indian languages
To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs, and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI programmes .
Internationalization of education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.
All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.
Policy aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.
The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
NEP 2020 has been formulated after an unprecedented process of consultation that involved nearly over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts. The MHRD initiated an unprecedented collaborative, inclusive, and highly participatory consultation process from January 2015. In May 2016, ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report. Based on this, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’. In June 2017 a ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent scientist Padma Vibhushan, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister on 31st May, 2019. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 was uploaded on MHRD’s website and at ‘MyGov Innovate’ portal eliciting views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including public.