Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday delivered the inaugural address at the Higher Education Conclave.
PM mentioned that the National Education Policy was approved after extensive deliberations over 3-4 years and brainstorming over lakhs of suggestions. He noted that health debate and discussions are taking place on National Education policy across the country.
National Education Policy aims at making the youth Future Ready while focussing on the National Values and National Goals.
PM Modi said that the policy lays the foundation of the New India, the 21st Century India, the education and skills needed for the youth to strengthen India, to advance it to new heights of development and to further empower the citizens of India to make them suitable for maximum opportunities.
The Prime Minister said that for years our education system remained unchanged leading to lopsided priorities where people were focussing on either becoming a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer. He said there was no mapping of the Interest, Ability and Demand.
The Prime Minister questioned how could critical thinking and innovative thinking develop in the youth, unless there is Passion in our education, Philosophy of Education, Purpose of Education.
The Prime Minister said National Education Policy also reflects the ideals of Guru Rabindranath on Education, which aims at bringing our lives in harmony with all the existence. He said, a Holistic Approach was needed, which the National Education Policy has achieved successfully.
He said the Policy was formulated keeping in mind two biggest questions: Whether our education system motivates our youth for Creative, Curiosity and Commitment Driven Life? And whether our education system empowers our youth, helps in building an Empowered Society in the country? On this he expressed satisfaction that National Education Policy takes care of these pertinent issues.
The Prime Minister said that India’s education system needs to change according to the changing times. The new structure of a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 curriculum is a step in this direction, he added.
He said that we have to ensure that our students become Global Citizens and also remain connected to their roots.
The PM said the new education policy stresses on ‘How to think’. He said the emphasis on inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion based, and analysis based learning methods for children will enhance their urge to learn and participate in the classes.
The PM urged that every student should get the opportunity to follow his passion. It often happens that when a student goes for a job after doing a course, he finds that what he has studied does not meet the requirement of the job. He said that many students also leave the course. He said in order to take care of the needs of all such students, the option of multiple entry-exit has been provided in the New Education Policy.
PM said the New Education Policy provides for a Credit Bank so that students can have the freedom to leave a course in between and utilise them later when they want to resume their courses. He said that we are moving towards an era where a person will have to constantly re-skill and up-skill himself.
The PM said that the dignity of every section of society plays a big role in the development of any country. Therefore, a lot of attention has been given to student education and Dignity of Labor in National Education Policy.
PM Modi said that India has the ability to give solutions of talent and technology to the whole world, and that the National Education Policy also addresses this responsibility, which aims at developing many technology-based content and courses. He said that concepts like virtual labs are going to carry the dream of better education to millions of peers who could not read such subjects before, which required Lab Experiment. National Education Policy is also going to play an important role in ending the gap of research and education in our country.
The PM said that National Education Policy can be implemented more effectively and at a faster pace only when these reforms would be reflected in Institutions and Infrastructure. He said that the need of the hour is to build the values of Innovation and adaptation in society and this should start from the Institutions of our country.
The Prime Minister said that higher education institutions need to be empowered through Autonomy. He said that there are two types of debates about Autonomy. One says that everything should be done strictly under government control, while the other says that all institutions should get Autonomy by default. He said that the first opinion comes out of a mistrust towards non-government institutions while Autonomy is treated as an entitlement in the second approach. He said the path to Good Quality Education lies somewhere in the middle of these 2 opinions.
He felt the institute that does more work for quality education should be rewarded with more freedom. This will provide Encouragement to Quality and will also give Incentive to everyone to grow. He wished that as the national education policy expands, the autonomy of education institutions will also get faster.
Quoting former President of the country, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam “The purpose of education is to make good human beings with skill and expertise. Enlightened human beings can be created by teachers.”
The Prime Minister said that the policy focuses on developing a strong teaching system where teachers can in turn produce good professionals and good citizens. There is a great emphasis on teacher training in national education policy, they are constantly updating their skills, there is a lot of emphasis on this.
PM urged people to work together with determination to implement the National Education Policy. He said that a new round of dialogue and coordination with Universities, Colleges, School education boards, different states, different stakeholders is about to start from here. He urged to continue the webinar on National Education Policy and keep discussing it. He expressed confidence that in this Conclave, better suggestions, effective solutions will come out regarding Effective Implementation of National Education Policy.