CHENNAI: Values such as sustainable development, sensitivity to society, dignity of labour and constant need for innovation should be integral to any education policy. The country does not need an education policy as much as we need an action plan, said some of India’s top minds in the area of education, speaking at a panel discussion on ‘What does India’s new education policy really need?’ at the ThinkEdu Conclave 2019 on Thursday.
“India has enough policies that exist in the books, but not in reality. What we need is a robust action plan that can be implemented in the immediate years to come,” said Anil Swarup, former bureaucrat, who has held multiple top positions with the Central government. He then threw open the discussion to the panelists, asking them to compare and contrast the need for a policy and action plan.
A good action plan for higher education will ensure equitable access to all those in the age group of 18-24, said R Subrahmanyam, Higher Education Secretary, MHRD. “Only 27 per cent of people in that age group currently have access to higher education when the rate is 80 per cent in most developed countries,” he said.
The stratification is a huge deterrent in the education system although pluralism and democracy is our biggest strength, said Padma Sarangapani, chairperson of the Centre for Education Innovation and Action Research. “We should not restrict the scope of our education to learning outcomes, it is only a part of larger quality building,” she said.
While we implement new policies, it is equally important to celebrate the ones that have worked, said S Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor, Sastra deemed-to-be university. “We need to celebrate local achievements, calibrate learning outcomes, and cerebrate informal education,” he said.
Values such as sustainable development, sensitivity to society, dignity of labour and constant need for innovation should be integral to any education policy, said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairperson of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
J Krishna Kishore, CEO of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board, said education policies should stop being abstract and work on including futuristic ideas.