Saturday 12 March 2022

Notes on NEP (New Education Policy) - Soch: Column by Dr. Arshiya Sethi

Does the wise man choose the arts because

he is wise, or does he become wise because

he chooses the arts? Do the arts educate?

Keeping these words in mind I want to look at the New Education Policy that proposes to have a large artistic footprint.

What is good about the New National Education Policy, 2020? It is undoubtedly an ambitious pan Indian overhaul, envisioned to cost up to 6% of India's GDP. It appears to be a body, mind and soul project. Celebrating interdisciplinarity, it employs digital and AI capacities in its template. This is a dimension that exponentially augments the possibilities of outreach, expansion of the imagination and evoking interest among syllabus creators, the teachers who will teach it and the children who will be covered under it, though policy makers and planners will need to be cognizant of the fact that the digital cover across India is uneven. The NEP aims to enhance skills, critical thinking and the matrix of values. Values feed into making a good human being and a better citizen. It is part of the soft aspects of nation building, which most development planning, even in India, tends to ignore. We are fortunate that within seven decades of the birth of the nation, we are getting a chance to address this aspect, once again. One of the most interesting aspects of the NEP is that STEM, Humanities, and the Arts find equal space in it. This stress on the arts has been formally and statutorily introduced for the first time, in such a well-considered and respectful manner.

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