Updated: August 2, 2020 8:12:20 am
THE NEW National Education Policy (NEP) is an exercise in reforming the country’s mindset and approach, and focuses on job creators instead of job seekers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday.
“This policy wants to create an independent youth who can decide whether he wants to either do a job or service or become an entrepreneur,” he said while addressing the finale of the Smart India Hackathon.
The Hackathon, which is in its fourth year, is an event for students across the country to try and solve some of the pressing problems that people face in their daily lives.
Speaking to the participants, Modi said he wants youngsters to learn, question and solve. “When you question, you get out-of-the-box methods to solve problems. When you do that, you grow. Due to your efforts, our nation grows. Our planet prospers,” he said, adding that the NEP reflects this spirit.
The new NEP is only the third in India’s independent history and the first in 34 years. Speaking on its emphasis on multilingualism, the Prime Minister said that the vision of the new policy would help regional languages grow and progress.
“Another big advantage will be that students, in their initial years, will get the opportunity to learn in their language. This will help nurture their talent… Anyway, the top 20 countries with the highest GDP educate their children in their mother tongue. These countries help their youth articulate their ideas in their own language, but also emphasize foreign languages to communicate with the world. This is not just a policy, but also a battle policy. This can be useful for 21st century India,” he said.
Referring to the need for change in the Indian mindset about education, Modi said that the NEP focuses on helping students follow their “natural passions”. This change, he said, was long due as peer and parental pressure has created a generation of well-educated youngsters who cannot put their degrees to good use.
“Even today, many children feel that they are judged on the basis of a subject in which they have no interest. Due to the pressure from parents, relatives, friends, etc., children are forced to pursue the subjects chosen by others. This has resulted in a large population, which is well-educated, but most of what they have read is not useful for them,” he said.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the emphasis on interdisciplinary pursuit in the policy. “One size does not fit all. One subject does not define who you are. There are no limits to discovering something new. Human history has many examples of stalwarts who were excellent in diverse areas. Be it Aryabhatta, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tagore,” he said.
“If someone is interested, they can learn maths and music together. This will ensure the focus will be on what the student wants to learn rather than what the student is expected to, by society. Interdisciplinary studies give you control,” he said.
On the provision for foreign universities to set up campuses in India, Modi said that it would give students “global exposure” and help the country become a global hub of education.
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