Academicians chew over NEP 2020

Ideas for creative implementation of Policy in NE required: NEHU VC

SHILLONG, Sep 14: Educationists and scholars from across India, including Meghalaya, came together on Tuesday and conferred about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
According to a statement, an online panel discussion was organised by the North-Eastern Hill University Teachers’ Association (NEHUTA), which was attended by nearly 200 participants, who dwelt at length the importance of the NEP 2020, its pros and cons and its implementation in the North East.
NEHU Vice-Chancellor Prof. PS Shukla, who was the chief guest for the panel discussion, provided a detailed presentation on progressive and beneficial aspects of the NEP 2020.
“He referred to NEP’s proposed seamless mobility of students across disciplines and universities, multiple entry and exit points, flexible teaching-learning procedures and overall, removal of rigid boundaries in evolving a choice based curricular and degree framework,” the statement said.
During the programme, the VC also asserted that the NEHU has all the requisite facilities to implement the multidisciplinary and flexible framework of teaching-learning in the interests of students.
He also called upon intellectuals to devise ways and means for a creative implementation of NEP 2020 in the region, particularly in NEHU.
“He pointed out that in the present context, NEP is geared up to provide not only wide range of choices in emerging frontiers of knowledge but it aims at strengthening the University-society relationship in the most relevant manner,” the statement said.
The VC also reiterated the need to create a society of scholars and intellectuals, and of students imbued with Indian values and cultural ideals.
Prof. SM Sungoh from NEHU, on the other hand, presented details about the framework of NEP 2020.
Laying emphasis on how NEP 2020 promises to facilitate access and equity for education to the socio-economically disadvantaged, she accentuated the need of a greater inclusive education by putting larger thrust on gender and disability studies as well as by incorporating a greater participation for gender, specially-abled and disadvantaged in every segment of higher education as laid out in the NEP 2020.
Prof. Nandita Narain from Delhi University, on the other hand, emphasised on the need of a critical assessment of ground realities. “She pointed to many ills of the present system, especially absence of facilities in having a large class, which grew larger with OBC reservations,” the statement said.
During the programme, Prof. Narain also flagged the grim picture of digital divide in India and the fall of transmission of proper educational content in online system of education.
“She emphasised on the need for a critical mass of scholars and intellectuals who would not only develop a greater sensitivity towards where the system of education leaves various sections high and dry, but also raise voice for recruitment of teachers on permanent basis as NEP plans for massive expansion,” the statement said.
She also suggested that a minimum of 10 per cent of total budget outlay should be channeled for education so that public-funded education is not commercialised and access to education is equitable to all sections of Indian society.
During the course of deliberations, noted sociologist from NEHU, Prof. DV Kumar, highlighted the positive and the negative aspects in the NEP 2020.
He envisaged that it will be a beautiful sight to behold a vast inter-disciplinary framework of education in India, especially “when humanities students can learn Physics or a student of Physics can learn History”. Prof. Kumar argued that such diversification of education will create a much more balanced and equipped generation of learners, teachers and researchers.
“He exhorted the idea of equity and access that NEP brought out in setting a target of 100 per cent enrolment by 2030 to make India a powerhouse of education and intellect,” the statement said.
However, Prof. Kumar, laying emphasis on mother tongue — another area of NEP 2020, cautioned against the reduction in the role of English language. He argued that the reduction in the role of English language might weaken India’s competitive edge in the globalised market.
Others who spoke during the programme include veteran scientist and noted educationist, Prof. Nikhil Chrungoo, noted environment scientist, Prof. OP Singh, among others.
It was also announced during the programme that NEHUTA will organise bigger symposiums and discussion forums on NEP 2020.

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