NEP 2020 — A definite step towards human capital development ?
India is the second most populous country, however, treating population as a liability or an asset is a foremost predictor of growth. A nation’s HDI ranking closely aligns with their per capita income, stressing the importance of education for economic growth. In the book “The Rise and Fall of Nations”, Ruchir Sharma argues that economic growth of country is proportional to the productivity of its population, hence stressing on the vitality of education for a country’s economic growth.
NEP 2020 rests on the pillars of inclusivity, public-private partnerships, nutrition, clustering, flexibility, teacher education, and monitoring and reviewing.
A multiplicity of factors like poverty, castes, customs, gender etc. are hindrance to enrolment rates and have exacerbated dropout rates. Bridging gender gaps through ‘gender inclusion fund’ and focusing on the participation of SC and ST are definite moves towards universalisation. A renewed focus on the need of the disabled exhibits the firm intent of the government towards inclusivity.
The 2019 “State of the Education Report for India: Children with Disabilities” took into account the 2011 census, according to which there are 78,64,636 children with disability in India constituting 1.7 percent of the total child population.It said only 61 percent of CWDs aged between 5 and 19 were attending an educational institution compared to the overall figure of 71 percent when all children are considered.The number of children enrolled in school drops significantly with each successive level of schooling. There are fewer girls with disabilities in schools than boys with disabilities in schools.
Over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6, indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in the early years in order to ensure healthy brain development and growth. Strong investment in ECCE has the potential to give all young children such access, enabling them to participate and flourish in the educational system throughout their lives.
This outcome can be further strengthened by the findings of Monica Jain on the data National Health Survey in India , which found a positive collinearity between the variables. According several studies in South Africa, Bangladesh, and Philippines, immunization has resulted in better household economic returns, greater years of schooling, and better cognitive functions in children.According to a report by Poverty Action Lab, The effort cost of attending school is higher for a child who is sick and lethargic. Health interventions that reduce student morbidity may be among the most effective ways of boosting school participation.
The curricular and pedagogical structure and the curricular framework for school education is a definite move in promoting a hierarchical and gradual approach in the provision of education according to age groups.
The National Education Policy 2020 is a welcome and ambitious re- imagination of India’s education system into a modern, progressive and equitable one. Successful execution of this policy calls for dramatic simplification of decision-making structures and re-prioritization of budgetary resources in months and years to come.Modification in the requirements of teachers, Nutrition schemes, public private partnerships etc. would definitely have an impact on educational outcomes.In summary, the National Education Policy 2020 is in many ways just what India needs, as it blossoms into the world’s largest workforce in coming years. To realize the dreams it contains, we must overcome substantial execution challenges in a sustained manner for years and decades to come. The success of the policy rests on the proactiveness of government mechanisms to enforce the required changes, the embracing of cultural shift to encourage inter disciplinary education, and a gradual approach in slowly and steadily working towards the change rather than a shock therapy.