Reorienting the Content and Process of Education
THE CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
8.1 The existing schism between the formal system of education and the countrys rich and varied cultural traditions need to be bridged. The preoccupation with modern technologies cannot be allowed to sever our new generations from the roots in Indias history and culture. De-culturisation, de-humanisation and alienation must be avoided at all costs. Education can and must bring about the fine synthesis between change-oriented technologies and the countrys continuity of cultural tradition.
8.2 The curricula and processes of education will be enriched by cultural content in as many manifestations as possible. Children will be enabled to develop sensitivity to beauty, harmony and refinement. Resource persons in the community, irrespective of their formal educational qualifications, will be invited to contribute to the cultural enrichment of education, employing both the literate and oral traditions of communication. The sustain and carry forward the cultural tradition, the role of old masters, who train pupils through traditional modes will be supported and recognized.
8.3 Linkages will be established between the university system and institutions of higher learning in art, archaeology, oriental studies, etc. Due attention will also be paid to the specialized disciplines of Fine Arts, Musicology, Folklore, etc. Teaching, training and research in these disciplines will be strengthened so as to replenish specialized manpower in them.
8.4 The growing concern over the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for readjustments in the curriculum in order to make edcuation a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values.
8.5 In our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people. Such value education should help eliminate obscurantism, religious fanaticism, violence, superstition and fatalism.
8.6 Apart from this combative role, value education has a profound positive content, based on our heritage, national and universal goals and perceptions. It should lay primary emphasis on this aspect.
8.7 The Educational Policy of 1968 had examined the question of the development of languages in great detail; its essential provisions can hardly be improved upon and are as relevant today as before. The implementation of this part of the 1968 Policy has, however, been uneven. The Policy will be implemented more energetically and purposefully.
BOOKS AND LIBRARIES
8.8 The availability of books at low prices is indispensable for peoples education. Effort will be made to secure easy accessibility to books for all segments of the population. Measures will be taken to improve the quality of books, promote the reading habit and encourage creative writing. Authors interests will be protected. Good translations of foreign books into Indian languages will be supported. Special attention will be paid to the production of quality of books for children, including text books and work books.
8.9 Together with the development of books, a nation-wide movement for the improvement of existing libraries and the establishment of new ones will be taken up. Provision will be made in all educational institutions for library facilities and the status of librarians improved.
MEDIA AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
8.10 Modern communication technologies have the potential to bypass several stages and sequences in the process of development encountered in earlier decades. Both the constraints of time and distance at once become manageable. In order to avoid structural dualism, modern educational technology must reach out to the most distant areas and the most deprived sections of beneficiaries simultaneously with the areas of comparative affluence and ready availability.
8.11 Educational technology will be employed in the spread of useful information, the training and re-training of teachers, to improve quality, sharpen awareness of art and culture, inculcate abiding values, etc., both in the formal and non-formal sectors. Maximum use will be made of the available infrastructure. In villages without electricity, batteries or solar packs will be used to run the programme.
8.12 The generation of relevant and culturally compatible educational programmes will
form an important component of educational technology, and all available resources in the country will be utilised for this purpose.
8.13 The media have a profound influence on the minds of children as well as adults; some of the tend to encourage consumerism, violence, etc., and have a deleterious effect. Radio and T.V. programmes which clearly militate against proper educational objectives will be prevented. Steps will be taken to discourage such trends in films and other media also. An active movement will be started to promote the production of children#s films of high quality and usefulness.
8.14 Work experience, viewed as purposive and meaningful manual work, organised as an integral part of the learning process and resulting in either goods or services useful to the community, is considered as an essential component at all stages of education, to be provided through well-structured and graded programmes. It would comprise activities in accord with the interests, abilities and needs of students, the level of skills and knowledge to be upgraded with the stages of education. This experience would be helpful on his entry into the workforce. Pre-vocational programmes provided at the lower secondary stage will also facilitate the choice of the vocational courses at the higher secondary stage.
EDUCATION AND ENVIRONMENT
8.15 There is a paramount need to create a consciousness of the environment. It must permeate all ages and all sections of society, beginning with the child. Environmental consciousness should inform teaching in schools and colleges. This aspect will be integrated in the entire educational process.
8.16 Population education must be viewed as an important part of the nations strategy to contain the growth of population. Starting at the primary and secondary levels with inculcation of consciousness about the looming crisis due to expansion of population, educational programmes should actively motivate and inform youth and adults about family planning and responsible parenthood.
8.17 Mathematics should be visualised as the vehicle to train a child to think, reason, analyse and to articulate logically. Apart from being a specific subject, it should be treated as a concomitant to any subject involving analysis and reasoning. With the recent introduction of computers in schools, educational computing and the emergence of learning through the understanding of cause-effect relationships and the interplay of variables, the teaching of mathematics will be suitably redesigned to bring it in line with modern technological devices.
8.18 Science education will be strengthened so as to develop in the child well defined abilities and values such as the spirit of inquiry, creatively, objectivity, the courage to questions, and an aesthetic sensibility.
8.19 Science education programmes will be designed to enable the learner to acquire problem solving and decision making skills and to discover the relationship of science with health, agriculture, industry and other aspects of daily life. Every effort will be made to extend science education to the vast numbers who have remained outside the pale of formal education.
SPORTS AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
8.20 Sports and physical education are an integral part of the learning process, and will be included in the evaluation of performance. A nation-wide infrastructure for physical education, sports and games will be built into the educational edifice. The infrastructure will consist of play fields, equipment, coaches and teachers of physical education as part of the School Improvement Programme. Available open spaces in urban areas will be reserved for playgrounds, if necessary by legislation. Efforts will be made to establish sports institutions and hostels where specialised attention will be given to sports activities and sports-related studies, along with normal education. Appropriate encouragement will be given to those talented in sports and games. Due stress will be laid on indigenous traditional games.
8.21 As a system which promotes an integrated development of body and mind, Yoga will receive special attention. Efforts will be made to introduce Yoga in all schools. To this end, it will be introduced in teacher training courses.
THE ROLE OF YOUTH
8.22 Opportunities will be provided for the youth to involve themselves in national and social development through educational institutions and outside them. Students will be required to participate in one or the other of existing schemes, namely, the National Service Scheme, National Cadet Corps, etc. Outside the institutions, the youth will be encouraged to take up programmes of development, reform and extension. The National Service Volunteer Scheme will be strengthened.
THE EVALUATION PROCESS AND EXAMINATION REFORM
8.23 Assessment of performance is an integral part of any process of learning and teaching. As part of sound educational strategy, examinations should be employed to bring about qualitative improvements in education.
8.24 The objective will be to re-cast the examination system so as to ensure a method of assessment that is a valid and reliable measure of student development and a powerful instrument for improving teaching and learning; In functional terms, this would mean :
i) The elimination of excessive element of chance and subjectivity;
ii) The de-emphasis of memorisation;
iii) Continuos and comprehensive evaluation that incorporates both scholastic and non-scholastic aspects of education, spread over the total span of instructional time.
iv) Effective use of the evaluation process by teachers, students and parents :
v) Improvement in the conduct of examination;
vi) The introduction of concomitant changes in instructional materials and methodology;
vii) Instruction of the semester system from the secondary stage in a phased manner; and
viii) The use of grades in place of marks.
8.25 The above goals are relevant both for external examinations and evaluations within educational institutions. Evaluation at the institutional level will be streamlined and the predominance of external examinations reduced. A National Examination Reform Framework would be prepared to serve as a set of guidelines to the examining bodies which would have the freedom to innovate and adapt the framework to suit the specific situations.