NEP looks beyond academics to envisage character building in students, says Minister

It aims at imparting moral and ethical values in each learner, says Dharmendra Pradhan

October 02, 2022 08:41 pm | Updated 08:41 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Dharmendra Pradhan (third from left), Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, releasing a book on ‘School Psychology in the Indian Context’, at the 12th InSPA international conference held at Pondicherry University on Sunday. Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Assembly Speaker R. Selvam and University V-C Gurmeet Singh are seen.

Dharmendra Pradhan (third from left), Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, releasing a book on ‘School Psychology in the Indian Context’, at the 12th InSPA international conference held at Pondicherry University on Sunday. Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Assembly Speaker R. Selvam and University V-C Gurmeet Singh are seen. | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

The National Education Policy (NEP), more than being an academic document, embodies a philosophical approach with its emphasis on character building and discovery of innate potential in students, Union Education and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Sunday.

Inaugurating the three-day 12th international conference of the Indian School Psychology Association (InSPA) on ‘Meeting the challenges in schools: Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Mr. Pradhan said one of the fundamental ideas of NEP 2020 is to impart moral and ethical values in each learner.

“The attributes such as selfless service, non-violence and cleanliness are the tenets on which NEP will make education more student-centric and vibrant,” the Minister said.

He pointed out that the NEP, which was now in its third year, encapsulates the ideals of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘integral education’, Pujya Bapu’s ‘Nayi Talim’ and Swami Vivekananda’s principles of education as a transformative catalyst for socio-economic change. The NEP helps address school psychology and enables identification of inherent strengths and aptitude of a student for making learning a fruitful process, he said.

“Education and psychology are inter-related. We have to understand the psychology of each learner to make learning and skilling a life-long process,” Mr. Pradhan said.

Noting that he was happy that InSPA was deliberating on this topic, the Minister suggested that going forward this forum should be renamed as Indian Student Psychology Association as learning is a lifelong process. “In this era of disruptive change we have to embrace and adopt new education models as well as re-skill and up-skill,” he said.

Pointing to the integral education model of Sri Aurobindo, Mr. Pradhan said it was important to know and understand the psychology of students right from an early age. “If education is the essence of a civilised society, then understanding psychology is the basic essence of education,” he said.

The Minister asked InSpa to collate the gist of its deliberations into an actionable set of recommendations for the effective implementation of NEP and for building open, vibrant and integrative school psychology frameworks.

“India has a lot to offer to the world. We have to create a global model. NEP 2020 will create global citizens of the 21st century who will be committed to humanity’s welfare,” he said.

The Minister also launched a book on ‘School Psychology in the Indian Context’ authored by Panch. Ramalingam that has been translated into 15 Indian languages, the Book of Abstracts 2022, and distributed InSPA Awards 2022.

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan called for a system of teaching that instead of pressuring the child was designed to make learning an enjoyable experience. An understanding of child psychology was essential for this, she said.

Speaker R. Selvam, PML Kalyanasundaram, MLA, Pondicherry University Vice-Chancellor Gurmeet Singh, B. Mukhopadhyay, past president, InSPA, Panch. Ramalingam, UGC-HRDC, Pondicherry University and InSPA president, Akbaruddin Ahmad, former Vice-Chancellor, Darul Ihsan University, Bangladesh, and Armoogam Parsuramen, former director, UNESCO, Mauritius participated.

The InSPA 2022 conference, with 1,700 delegates from 13 countries in attendance, aims to provide a meeting ground for the professionals to develop methodologies that are better and locally useful. The event, which coincides with the 75 th anniversary of Independence, also hopes to help create a self-reliant nation through ideas, actions and educational technology in classrooms, and provide a forum for sharing expertise on the best practices in school psychology.

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