Terming apprehensions over the National Education Policy-2020 as unnecessary, Minister for Higher Education and IT and Biotechnology C.N. Ashwath Narayan on Friday said there should not be any misunderstanding over the policy since it had been articulated keeping in view the interests of students and argued that only the NEP-2020 could help build their bright future because of its holistic educational concepts.
The education policy that was followed all these years was not student-centric and the gains one would be getting from the NEP-2020 were multifold as it had adopted concepts that go into developing the learners’ prospects. The fruits of the NEP would soon be visible as it pushes for bringing in required changes, he explained.
After launching the National Education Policy-2020 at the University of Mysore, the Minister said the Narendra Modi government had brought in reforms in the education sector that had been awaited from the last 35 years. Students now had the choice in learning and it was important that flexibility was now available even in government-run educational institutions. The NEP was not anti-poor, he clarified.
Arguing that education and skill development were key for helping the country achieve superpower status, the Minister said education was the perfect tool for achieving empowerment. Sadly, this was forgotten and now emphasis was being laid on this factor, he said, citing the examples of Japan and South Korea which had grown tremendously because of empowerment in education and skill development.
Stating that 85% of learning starts between the ages of three and six, Dr. Narayan added that learning in the government set-up was actually commencing at the age of six. This had been corrected now and children in government schools too would start learning from the age of three, which was all these years confined to the rich and affluent.
Maintaining that the NEP helps to better the country’s future, the Minister said the policy primarily focuses on quality of education and not on quantity. The principles of education had been taken care, laying emphasis on conceptual learning besides measuring the learning outcomes.
The Minister advised people to change their perceptions towards private educational institutions since both government as well as private institutions were strengths in imparting education and building the children’s future. They should not be seen as commercial entities. If people start questioning the fees charged, how could the institutions be run, he sought to know.
Describing educational institutions as temples, he congratulated the University of Mysore for implementing the NEP.
Earlier, Vice-Chancellor G. Hemanth Kumar made a presentation on the NEP and its implementation in the university.
Mysuru MP Pratap Simha said the NEP helps develop critical thinking as it lays emphasis on discussion-based education. It drives students to become analytical and turn them innovative, he said.
Shivarathri Deshikendra Swami of Suttur Mutt, Thimme Gowda B., vice-chairman, Karnataka State Higher Education Council, and Registrar Shivappa were present.