Or, for what else?
Yes, it is an obvious question but no one asks!
You all must be knowing that the New Education Policy (NEP) has been on the table, so to say, for quite some time. But there is no takeoff, again, to ask an obvious question!
First, there was a long gestation period after the new government with Smriti Irani was appointed as the first HRD minister. There were so many changes in personnel at the high level. So many. Ministers as well.
Many experts resigned soon after they were appointed. Then the education ministers changed. The latest to go was one who fell ill and couldn’t function as effectively as all wanted with the so many confusions and changes in the CBSE exams, dates, and conceptions and there were other delays at the other levels of the HRD ministry functioning.
Dr. K.Kasturirangan signed the report as the chairman and yet he couldn’t push things. Further, the newly appointed secretary, one Mr, Khare promised action and yet things didn’t move.
Of course, education in India is a very vast and complicated area with so many issues, ideas, ideologies, and also very many social structures and the class and caste and economic and social issues, education in India is also a vast and varied area of social justice, economic justice and economic opportunities and also castes and historic legacies.
In the West, USA, more so in UK, historic and class legacies have fashioned education policymaking. But in India, the colonial legacy had a great impact. Of course, it is now education in a democracy, however imperfect it is.
To put it in one word, here we think education in terms of getting a job in the government. The average mindset of an Indiana student or the parent is that education must be one process that should land the son or a daughter in a good career. The career of the young Indian student is so much dependent upon what the government can give by way of a place in a government school or a college and also what a particular caste or social status can give by way of reservation and quota.
UK Education model won’t suit India anymore.
UK education model
Now, even in the UK, the government has entered the reputed institutions like Oxford and Cambridge with fixation of reservations to State schools, and thus this year, for instance, the admissions to Oxford are curtailed for foreign students under some clever turn of phrase of what constitutes merit.
In India merit is no merit but only a caste-based birth! And India wastes billions of pounds to the UK treasury.
So the question we asked at the beginning is what is education for? It is for jobs and jobs only. Whether the jobs land up today as hoped for is a big question and we dare to say no one has an adequate answer. Education has not shaped a new and progressive and liberal lndia yet, right?
Now, in India politicians play a great deal of politics with no purpose except to keep themselves in power, and for this goal only they promise the moon!
Corruption thrives! No one talks of this pervasive evil. Fears stalk.Education now is a paid-for commodity and all sorts of people, qualified or unqualified have become a new generation of education entrepreneurs! It is this new education entrepreneur class that mint the money and thus Indian education today has turned out a new set of exploiters and the new generation of youngsters are caught up in a vicious circle of denied opportunities. And dashed hopes.
As things stand the Indian education scene is one of a great many inequities and injustices and also a rising poverty index of dashed hopes. With all these inequities education in quantitative terms has expanded, by leaps and bounds and there is much hope and a sense of positivity at all levels of education.
But education thinkers must. Come out with some bold and innovative ideas so that the much hoped-for transformation for the good of the citizens and also. The larger society, why even for the outside world and human community stand to benefit in all conceivable ways.
Education liberates manias everyone has said from ancient times to the present times.
Education has expanded everywhere and this impact we can see in the many revolutions that had changed our life and time in the present generation.
We see more educated and more qualified technocrats, the new IT billionaires, and no-IT billionaires must be well-educated and well-shaped citizens to become morally bold and upright citizens.
Education has a special task to perform. It is here we have to specially convene a collective gathering of well-educated citizens to deliberate on what constituted a well-rounded education.
There is still poverty on a considerable scale. In TN, it is said there an 11% of people living under poverty. So, we have to open up more places for under-served sections of society. The political system must be cleaned up of corruption, black money, and unaccounted wealth.
Education must be based on moral principles. Education ministers, at least, must be well-educated and qualified people. There must be many freedoms, individual freedoms, and other freedoms like media freedoms.
Today the media is under must stress.Also, the men and women at the top must be morally driven leaders.
The judiciary must be free of the many government restrictions. And so on and so forth.