August , 2020
Not Oxbridge or Ivy League models; its implementation of NEP
12:07 pm

Buroshiva Dasgupta

We Indians usually love to follow models, and there is nothing wrong about it. Oxbridge or the Ivy League? We have done it before and we do it even now. The new National Education Policy has just put an official stamp on it and let us accept it gracefully, if not uncritically. That’s how the world’s education has been evolving in the last few decades, though in recent times Oxford has been re-gaining ground in the new world education ratings. Instead of getting embroiled in the debate which is better, let us focus on its implementation, which will be a greater reality in India in future.

The pandemic has changed our lifestyle and more surprisingly, of all things, our education. Students stay at home and study online. Classes through Googlemeet, zoom, Google classroom have become the order of the day. The school, college and university authorities are persuading students and their parents to have access to laptops or at least smart phones to be able to participate in the online classes. Students are participating enthusiastically, though the excuse of ‘digital divide’ sometimes does slow down the process. But the change is real and what could have taken years, have been achieved within months, thanks to the pandemic.

The change to online teaching, a survey shows, has been welcomed by the students’ community; whereas the teachers have generally been reluctant to implement it. Here lies the problem of implementation of a policy like the NEP. The sweeping changes that have been suggested by the new education policy, which includes implementation of the modern methods of teaching, including online teaching, how far will it be possible if the mainstay of education – the teachers – are averse to change ? The changes in the structure of education – whether the new school education will be 5 3 3 4 or college education be three or four years - will be meaningless, if the very ‘soul’ of education, the teachers, remain a disgruntled lot. The policy paper spends much space on the teachers – the need to restore their respectful position in the society and on improvement of their emoluments. The teachers cannot be made to do “other” duties like election duties etc. But while the policy emphasises on a ‘continuous assessment process” be introduced for the students, it is imperative that the teachers also comply with a rule of adaptability to the changing times.

The regulatory  bodies  of higher education like the UGC and AICTE  badly need a change and the NEP was  right in suggesting the abolition of both and introducing a single academic body. This goes well with the new approach of a multidisciplinary method of study. Research and research grants will be regulated by a different body. The assessment structure will also change with the formation of a new National Testing Agency and the new body called PARAKH, in charge of the new approach to assessment. These are all meant for laying down a matrix for assessment of students’ progress in studies so that at the end of a course they are no longer found “unemployable”.

But for the teachers’ efforts to change teaching methodology with the times, who will assess? These are important questions to be raised during implementation. The present structure of maintaining quality -IQAC as it is called in most colleges and universities – has immensely burdened the teachers with “paperwork” which contributes little to “quality”, but helps turn them into clerks. These are essential areas to be looked into while implementing the NEP.  Its  success  lies not in the models,  but in the  method of implementation.



Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.