‘Education is a human right, a powerful driver of development, and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability,’ the World Bank has noted. The Human Capital Index is a report prepared by the World Bank. The Index measures which countries are best in mobilising the economic and professional potential of its citizens. The index assesses knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives in order to enable them to realise their potential as productive citizens of their country.
Last year, India stood at 116th position in the HCI ranking. Fortunately, last year the National Education Policy-2020 was launched to make Indian education system work as a powerful driver of development. Several paradigm shifts have been suggested in the policy document to overhaul the entire system of education in the coming decade. Actually, NEP-2020 aims to achieve SDG- 4 which will be assessed through HCI. The index introduces this innovative measurement of learning, which supports SDG 4.1—to ensure, among other things, the completion of equitable and good-quality primary and secondary education. By tracking changes in the expected years of quality-adjusted education, countries will be able to monitor their achievement toward this education target.
Critically analysing, two important approaches have been suggested in the National Education Policy- 2020 to overhaul the system of education:
In terms of Curriculum & Pedagogy, bottom-up approach has been adopted, i.e., ‘the policy envisages that the extant 10+2 structure in school education will be modified with a new pedagogical and curricular restructuring of 5+3+3+4 covering ages 3-18’. The following figure will help us to understand it:
Regarding the functioning of the education department, top-down approach has been adopted, i.e., the policy envisages the bifurcation of the functions of the department in terms of academics to be fully controlled by State Council of Educational Research & Trainings – SCERT, operations by Directorate of School Education – DSE, and regulations by State School Standard Authority – SSSA. In this regard, SARTHAQ-I and SARTHQ-II, implementation guidelines for NEP-2020 issued by MoE, have given fixed timelines and responsible agencies to implement it. The figure given above illustrates it:
Thus, the restructuring of the department from both bottom-up approach and top-down approach is going to improve the quality of education in the country as envisioned in NEP-2020, if implemented in the right perspective.
—The writer is Senior Academic Officer, SCERT, J&K. [email protected]