By NV Paulose
Human dignity and equitable society should be the primary aim of education. Every student should get all opportunities to reach up to the ultimate possibilities of success irrespective of the circumstantial potential; said Rev Antony Michael Shera, Secretary of Catholic Education Board. He was openly responding to an unscripted interaction with Global TV in the backdrops of National Education Policy about the priorities and pathways in its implementation and further. Clarity should be the first component when we look forward for any pathbreaking advancement in educational system. We should know our strengths when we attempt to aim for a higher target. Team work and trust within the stakeholders will make everything possible and practical much easier.
Our Educational institutions are always willing to introduce every constructive policies of the government within the framework of the constitution of the nation. Finding out the hidden treasures of students’ talents are at the priority and the challenge is a possible hidden agenda behind the rosy pictures shown in the implementation of National Education Policy. Clarity and Transparency becomes key factors in this respect. Government should instill confidence in the managements of educational institutions before criticizing them left and right. India has got a great tradition of education and the minority institutions play a pivotal role in education in India, particularly early education and general higher education. There are best institutions even in special higher education like Medicine etc. We are producing export quality human resource is the fact that we should cherish. Indian students are welcomed across the world because of the quality of our education. Our people when go abroad are posted in higher level jobs and managerial positions because of their value based upbringing with professionalism in every area of life.
Low opportunity in the homeland is the reason for people migrating abroad. Creating a conducive atmosphere for prosperity is very important in creating opportunities in India. We should also create a cordial living possibility in the country. Taking the institutions into confidence is the fundamental approach towards progress. Telling things are wrong and saying the policies will make them better is not a good idea. Who is going to make things better? How can anything improve without the participation and support of the stake holders? Everyone will come forward and join hands when there is a cordial approach in doing things.
We should know what are the required changes before we attempt to make the changes. We cannot throw the child with the bathwater. What is wrong to be changed and what is worth to be retained should be understood well. What are our strengths and what are our limitations should be outlined. Do anyone made any study about these things? Is there sufficient transparency in those studies? Clear communications only can make things to be understood.
Skill development programs should not be for creating drop outs in higher education. Gross enrollment ratio in India is very poor already. Tailoring training and Carpentry sessions in schools will only create drop outs in the campuses. We as a society could not yet develop dignity for such jobs. The west has done that at least. Dignity of labor and proper remuneration and status standards are reasons for people to opt for jobs of their preference. Just skill development in the way it happens in India will only insist students to be less ambitious in life. This is not the right way. We should give students much required intellectual skills. They should be trained to become high dreamers and highly ambitious. Social initiatives can be introduced for physical training, but with high respect.
We see National Education Policy with an open mind. Efforts from the higher ups towards developing a cordial process is yet to begin. Every higher up is saying as they are waiting for guidelines from the higher authorities. Biggest challenge in implementation of National Education Policy is in this disconnect of those who suppose to support the process. We are yet to see something constructively happening in the process. We need to put fire in the belly of everyone. For missionaries it is the wellbeing of the society that bring respect and accomplishment in life. For a student it is employability or capability to become employers of higher respect. Everyone want respect and satisfaction in their home land. Are we giving them these things? Everyone need to introspect. Inspiration is a best way and threatening is a wrong way. No one will accept disrespect from who ever wherever top they are placed. Education should basically go student centric for an inspired student. What for others? Can we have something that inspire even them?
Another complication is in our casual approach about early education. Throwing text books and note books are not the way. Having heavy back bags are also not a good idea. We need to create a via media in this very important aspect. Primary education is basically for language formation. All play and no study in the initial stages of education is not at all a good idea. In fact language education starts from the birth of a child or even before. Proper education should teach us the ways to come out of the CHAKRAVYOOHA in our social stigma. Teaching the entry and no exit will only make things more complicated. Let us come together and collectively make things happen for the good of everyone. In the process, we can make use of the demographic dividend very well. India is very young and we should make it our strength to transform our country into a well respected developed nation; Rev Antony Michael Shera said.