I feel that Indian Education before the implementation of the National Policy on Education (NPE),1986 can’t really be reflected upon much. Even though the era marked the advent of high-quality scientific education with the establishment of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), formation of the National Council of Educational Research And Training (NCERT), implementation of the ‘three language formula’, etc… it still is the present that wins the contemplation.
Let’s consider the NPE in brief before we move further to the whole picture. The key point of this policy is equal educational opportunities for all . This was attempted to bring into existence with the formulation of policies for adult education, scholarships, providing incentives for economically challenged parents to encourage them to educate their kids, etc To qualify the education system of primary schools, the government accentuated the need for a child-centered approach and this led to the implementation of Operation Blackboard. Development of new institutions , for eg – Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), 1985 was another crucial step.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan , a relatively newfangled scheme is also a magnanimous step that holds a lion’s share in affecting the Indian Education system which until then was as depicted through the video
Though this condition is still hugely prevalent in the schools in rural areas.
Recently released Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) paints a shocking picture. The article affiliated to it reveals how students are not properly trained even for the basic skills. It can be found here. But the lack of learning is not just restricted to the government schools. Ambrish Dongre states that many ‘top’ level schools are experiencing problems on similar lines. You can read his views here.
But let’s not also ignore the positives. In spite of all the loopholes, the quality of education has improved manifolds since the past. The emergence of different boards of education like the IB , the IGCSE, the ICSE, etc ensures qualitative education with an emphasis on child centered methods of teaching and learning plus a certain level of liberal environment for the students. Recent results that show the girls outshining the boys bring a smile to the faces of those who are concerned with the education of the girl child. Different implementation of Government policies, inculcation of technology in education (Aakash, Smart Class,etc) too can not be ignored. And this is what makes me conclude with a motivating quote –
“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” – Lao Tzu