ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Examining the Draft National Education Policy, 2019

This paper on the draft National Education Policy 2019, examines its timeframe and the possible implications of its implementation in terms of the overlapping categories of gender, caste, and class identities. It also focuses briefly on issues of language and the way in which historical precedents are invoked. This is followed by a discussion on the wide-ranging changes envisaged in higher education. I suggest that the document needs far greater scrutiny than it has received so far, and that a hasty implementation will have grave consequences, diluting if not reversing the serious and painstaking attempts that have been made to democratise the contexts, and contents of education for decades.

Skill Training or Nipping Potential in the Bud?

The introduction of skilling programmes in government schools from the secondary level itself--as part of the Indian government's ambition to make India the "Skill Capital of the World"--will restrict young people, largely from socially underprivileged backgrounds, to low-productivity blue-collar employment in the informal sector. What is needed is not truncated education in the form of vocational training, but quality basic education for all, which will enable young people to compete for employment in the formal economy.

Gender and Curriculum

Despite its reiterations on equality, fundamental rights and quality education for all, the emphasis of the National Curriculum Framework on Indian tradition and the collapsing of value education and religious education puts on hold the possibility of education emerging as an enabling tool for women's empowerment. The article revisits, briefly, the vision and policy framework of the New Education Policy of 1986 with regard to women's education, analysing the effect of progressive policy rhetoric on the actual writing of school textbooks, particularly those relating to language teaching.
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