ThinkEdu 2022: State govts should implement NEP in proper letter and spirit, says Venkaiah Naidu
"The touchstone of our success is to move from ‘thinking’ to ‘doing’, from merely ‘doing’ to ‘doing it right’, ‘doing it well’ and ‘doing it on time’," said Naidu about the state of education in India
CHENNAI: The National Education Policy (NEP) focuses on institutional restructuring and consolidation of the educational landscape in India. State governments should take measures to implement it in proper letter and spirit, said India's Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday, speaking at the inaugural session of the 10th edition of the ThinkEdu Conclave, organised by The New Indian Express. He further said that education must become an instrument of national transformation and if this dream has to be realised, we must take the National Education Policy 2020 as the starting point, a springboard for taking the quantum leap.
The DMK-led Tamil Nadu government has been opposing the NEP, terming it as a policy meant for the elites. However, the Vice-President today urged state governments to take a proactive role in the implementation of the policy as it attempts to create a template for holistic education and opens up new avenues of employment to the country’s youth.
On the occasion, the Vice-President strongly advocated the need to promote education in one's mother tongue. He poetically said that mother tongue is eyesight, while other languages are spectacles. "Before learning any other language, we should first learn our mother tongue," said Naidu. He also urged that there should be no opposition in learning other languages as it opens up immense opportunities for growth. "There should be no imposition and no opposition for any language. There should not be any reservation for learning any language," he said.
Speaking about the disruption caused by the pandemic in the education sector, Naidu said that the world has witnessed an unprecedented disruption over the last two years, but lauded the efforts of teachers for quickly adapting to the online medium of education. "Schools have been closed for some time, online classes became the norm and the teachers, students, as well as parents, struggled to adjust to a new reality. However, we must recognise the adaptability and flexibility and commitment to ensure continuity of learning that our extraordinary teachers have displayed during this time," said Naidu.
He further cited that the pandemic had many lessons for us and, at the same time, opened the door for us to explore new possibilities but at the same time it has created a digital divide. He stressed the need to reduce the digital divide and even the rural and urban divide. "Digital tools have made learning more engaging and interactive. Yet, there has been a glaring gap in access to technological gadgets. The digital divide became wider and more visible. We shall have to re-think education and see how best we can harness technology to enhance access and quality of learning," he said. He further urged all stakeholders to take measures to ensure that access to learning opportunities is equitable and inclusive.
"We must make education holistic, with equal emphasis on cognitive and non-cognitive aspects. We must make education more integrated, multi-disciplinary and relevant," said Naidu. He further added that it is our collective responsibility to foster this process by nurturing talent, recognising excellence and creating a conducive environment where innovation will thrive. He urged on the need to re-shape the classrooms to catalyse this national transformation. He called on the educationists and educational planners to go the extra mile to do whatever is necessary to bring about this change. "The touchstone of our success is to move from ‘thinking’ to ‘doing’, from merely ‘doing’ to ‘doing it right’, ‘doing it well’ and ‘doing it on time’," said Naidu.
ThinkEdu 2022 is the grand tenth edition of what has consistently been India's biggest education conclave for a decade now. March 8 and 9 will see some stalwarts of India's academic, economic and political ecosystems bring ideas, ideologies and reflections on the past, present and future of India's education system. The sessions will be viewed by a live audience, in addition to the 2,750 registered users on the conclave's digital space. Over the last nine years, the conclave has seen some stalwart thinkers such as former presidents Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr Pranab Mukherjee, MPs Jairam Ramesh, Smriti Irani, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, NITI Aayog's CEO Amitabh Kant and spiritual guide Sadhguru.