A long awaited policy is approved during an unprecedented pandemic without a parliamentary debate, abandons the fundamental right of children 6-14 years for equitable quality education, retracts to only providing ‘universal access’ through ‘alternative models’ and legitimises ‘multiple pathways’ that compromise with quality through less regulated private players and open schooling.
Revamping the structure for larger institutions, by closure or merger of smaller units in the name of efficiency, hampers equity and access for the majority. Pushing students into poor vocational or distance courses, does not offer creative or credible educational choices, but segregates them along new hierarchies of skill and knowledge. There is need to change the policy’s centralising agenda and invoke the constitutional vision for transformative education to enhance empathy, inclusion and social justice.
Anita Ramphal, Educationist
Professor Anita Rampal was the Dean, Faculty of Education, Delhi University. She is an EC member of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction (ICMI), and a joint coordinator of a project on Education for Sustainable Development. She was a Nehru Fellow, a UGC Research Scientist, Director of the National Literacy Centre at LBSNAA Mussoorie, associated with the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and Chairperson of the NCERT Primary Textbook Development Teams. She has been associated with national policy making, educational initiatives of states, the People’s Science Movement, the Right to Education and the National Literacy Campaigns. She works in the areas of Policy Analysis, Curriculum Studies, Science-Technology-Society Studies, and has produced films on women and participatory development.