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Does India Require a New Education Paradigm?

When you look at the change in the Indian education system, there is certainly a lot to be proud of. However, the goal is still far, and a lot needs to be done. In a country, where 70% of the education system, is owned, governed, and administered by the government, the overall approach is flawed.

Even though India celebrates its 10th Anniversary of the landmark 2010 Right to Education (RTE) Act, the country’s overall learning outcome is stubbornly low. To say, the Indian education system is one of the third-largest education systems in the world. It has nurtured innumerable great minds and also several geniuses, who have contributed to the evolution of the county and are also causing a stir globally. However, even after being one of the older systems in the world, edification in the country is still not as efficient as the other newer education systems. A major reason behind the undermined teaching system is the fact that other nations have experienced growth and advancement, while India is stuck on the historic path and is following the same old education principles.

On one side, the country has world-class infrastructures, some of the largest schools and also Asia’s largest residential universities. Yet, there is a lack of modernism and sheer inability to nurture a child to his/her maximum ability. There is a higher focus on theoretical aspects and less stress on the analytical skills of students. Moreover, the system is a slave to the percentages and grading systems, thereby shifting its entire focus from an all-round development of the child. Children do not receive the right guidance and are instead restricted to books and lectures. Further, the teachers are underqualified, underpaid and monotonously teaching a syllabus designed years ago. Thus, creating a wide gap between the academic and theoretical world.

This gap, in turn, creates a divide in the society. The jobs are also offered to those who have a jewel embossed degree reflecting their academic performance. Thus, the students with low grades are often unemployed or working below their aptitude, irrespective of their real-world talent. Ideally, education should always shape the overall personality of a child. It should focus on the humanitarian and constitutional values, creativity and logical thinking, use of technology, and considerable community participation. On the contrary, the students end up feeling lost and disoriented with their morale crushed just because they couldn’t perform well on an exam paper.

Thus, a lot of work has to be done in the education model of the country. The paradigm should concentrate on the creative side of the students rather than bifurcating them on the foundation of grades. We need to abandon the traditional and methodological ways of teaching to advance towards a better tomorrow. That said, even though the government has made consistent efforts to shift the paradigm of Indian education, there is still so much that needs to be done. In July 2020, the Union Cabinet launched the National Policy 2020 (NEP), which categorically replaces the 34-year old prevalent National Education Policy of 1986. The objective is to create a holistic, flourishing knowledge society and a global superpower governed by the principles of accessibility, accountability, quality, affordability and equity.

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