LPPYF Law and Public Policy Youth Fellowship is an Online National Summer School Program, a Two-Month Online Immersive Legal Awareness & Action Research Certificate Training Course and Internship Program, from June-August 2023 by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute. An informative and interactive panel discussion on “Education Policies & Laws” was held by Dr. Y. Suresh Reddy, Director, SRF Foundation, Gurgaon.
Sir initiated the session by briefing the participants about the Indian Education System, in both pre-independence era, and its evolution post-independence. He further laid his attention on how it has been shaped by the current education policies in force, and its implications.
National Education Policy, 2020- Past, Present and the Future
Sir while enlightening us about the NEP took us on a roadmap of commissions and policies that have been shaping the education system in India in its post independent era. NEP aims to make major transformational reforms in the education sector in India. Here is the list of various commissions, amendments, and policies that have been the part of historical development of education in India.
- University Education Commission (1948-49)
- Secondary Education Commission (1952-53)
- Education Commission under Dr. S. Kothari (1964-66)
- National Policy on Education (1968)
- 42nd Constitutional Amendment, Education in Concurrent List (1976)
- National Policy on Education, NPE (1986)
- NPE, Modified Program of Action (1992)
- T.S.R Subramaniam Committee Report (2016)
- Dr. K. Kasturiangam Committee Report (2019)
Next, sir enlightened the participants about the key principles of NEP, 2020. The principles are stated below,
- Respect for Diversity and Local Context in all curriculum, pedagogy & policy.
- Equity and Inclusion as the cornerstone of educational decisions.
- Community Participation, encouragement and facilitation for philanthropic, private, and community participation.
- Use of Technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers for Divyang barriers, and in educational planning and management.
- Emphasis on Conceptual learning, and eliminating rote learning.
- Unique capabilities, and effort to recognize and identify them in eac student.
- Critical thinking and creativity to encourage logical decision making and innovation.
- Continuous review and tracking of children’s growth and learning, based on sustain research and regular assessment by educational experts.
The Evolution of Policies
Dr. Reddy then explained about how Right to Education Act, 2009 has also been a major development in evolution of educational sector in India. The Right to Education (RTE) Act, enacted in India in 2009, is a landmark legislation that aims to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 6 and 14. Some of the key highlights of the RTE Act include:
- Free and Compulsory Education: The Act makes it mandatory for the government to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the specified age group.
- No Discrimination: It prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender, or economic status in the admission process.
- 25% Reservation: The RTE Act mandates that private unaided schools must reserve 25% of their seats for children from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups.
- Infrastructure and Teacher Standards: The Act lays down norms and standards for infrastructure and teacher qualifications to ensure quality education.
- Financial Provisions: The government is responsible for providing funds to implement the provisions of the Act.
- School Management Committees: The Act encourages the formation of School Management Committees (SMCs) to involve parents and the local community in school governance.
- No Detention Policy: The Act promotes a no-detention policy until the completion of elementary education (up to Class VIII), which means students cannot be failed or held back until this stage.
- Monitoring and Reporting: The Act establishes mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of its provisions.
These highlights reflect the core principles and provisions of the RTE Act, which aims to improve access to quality literacy for all children in India. Sir further laid emphasis on changing dimensions of education in India. Surge in technology has made it easier to extend the reach of education. To conclude, he added that evolving this sector in India is a complex and long-term endeavour that requires collaboration among government policies, educators, parents, and the private sector.
Continuous evaluation and adaptation of policies and practices are essential to meet the evolving needs of students and society. Proper implementation of suggestions and policies, when implemented strategically and wit along term vision, can contribute to the development and improvement of this sector in India, ultimately benefitting both students and the nation as whole. Sir added that India has immense potential to foster the innovation of growth of education sector in India through appropriate laws and policies. With continued dedication, and commitment, India can shape system that equips its people for success in 21st century, fostering both individual and national progress.
Divyansh is a Research Intern at IMPRI.
Youtube Video of Inaugural session for Law and Public Policy Youth Fellowship Programme: https://youtu.be/fT0XLKGJ6LY
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