There are a lot of documents & videos on National Education Policy and commentary of experts available on Internet so I will not even attempt to describe that here. Here I will try to give a Historical context & then few thoughts on future. There is a very popular song Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley which says , If you know your history “Then you would know where you’re coming from. Then you wouldn’t have to ask me. Who the heck do I think I am”.
The history of education began with teaching of traditional elements such as Indian religions, Indian mathematics, Indian logic at early Hindu and Buddhist centres of learning such as ancient Takshashila (in modern-day Pakistan) and Nalanda (in India) Before Christ. Islamic education became ingrained with the establishment of the Islamic empires in the Indian subcontinent in the Middle Ages while the coming of the Europeans later brought western education to colonial India Modern Universities were established during British rule in the 19th century. A series of measures continuing throughout the early half of the 20th century ultimately laid the foundation of education in the Republic of India, Pakistan and much of the Indian subcontinent. Early education in India commenced under the supervision of a guru or prabhu.Initially, education was open to all and seen as one of the methods to achieve Moksha in those days, or enlightenment Source: Wikipedia
Having given the historical context, let me share my opinion on Role of Government in Education in general and India’s National Education Policy in particular. In my view government in each society has few primary responsibilities like providing a safe & secure environment and that means ensure Law & Order. After that they are also expected to ensure basic needs like Food, Water,, Health & Education is available to all. Providing free primary education to all citizens of country is a major factor that differentiates Developed World from Developing World. In modern world Western European Countries especially Nordic Countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland.
Unfortunately, both the percentage of national budget allocated to Education in India was abysmally low compared to rest of world. This was accompanied by misplaced policies and priorities on “rote learning, exam & government jobs orientation”. However one major course correction seems to have taken place in the recently passed India ndia National Education Policy 2019, which envisions an India-centric education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society by providing high-quality education to all. What was wrong with the old education policy was that it was prepared by Britishers to create a class of clerks, bureaucrats which continued even after freedom. The first Indian Institutes of Technology were established in the 1950s to promote technical education in India. Now, there are 23 IITs in India considered to be the premier engineering universities of the country & 20 Indian Institutes of Management in India considered to be the premier management Institutions of India. Few years back The Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan, was a movement pioneered by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which aimed to free and compulsory education a fundamental right to children between the ages of 6 and 14. The Right to Education Act was passed in 2009. In the National Education Policy passed by India, it attempts a complete reboot of Education System.
- Three years of anganwadi or preschool + two years in primary school in grades 1-2 covering ages 3 to 8 years
- The ‘preparatory stage’ covering ages 8 to 11 years or grades 3-5
- The ‘middle stage’ covering ages 11 to 14 years or grades 6-8
- The ‘secondary stage’ covering ages 14 to 18 years in two phases – grades 9-10 in the first and grades 11-12 in the second