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A Fanciful Education

Vision without Basis

The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 strives to provide a vision, albeit not presenting any statistical basis or taking into account the sociopolitical and historical contexts, the regional or statewise variations and disparities, financial responsibilities, and the gains made by the earlier initiatives.

No one can argue that policymaking in education should not be imaginative. Policymakers need some idea of what the impending future might be like. If, on its own, it does not look all that bright, they can legitimately consider the contribution education might play in lending some brightness, at least to the distant foreseeable. While this faith is necessary, they can hardly afford to forget that education derives its meaning and purpose from its context, both the larger historical space and the social milieu.

For the people directly involved in drafting the proposed National Education Policy, 2019 for India—as a whole—the political and cultural ethos of the early 21st century must have presented a challenge. As a reader of the draft policy, I could hardly expect it to acknowledge that academic spaces have been rapidly shrinking not only with regard to free speech and dialogue, but also in the more specifically academic context which frames the pursuit of knowledge through inquiry.

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Updated On : 14th Sep, 2019

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