The Draft National Education Policy 2019 comprehensively talks about the need for liberal arts and its Indian origins. Kalas or arts which were earlier 64 in number as mentioned in Banabhatta’s Kadambari, were, later on, increased to 86 in Lalitavistara Sutra, and then finally to 512 in Yasodhara’s Jayamangala. The draft policy sufficiently focuses on the importance of ‘liberal education’ for the modern day employment landscape of the 21st century. This concept of education across the Kalas is undoubtedly one of the seminal pillars of a holistic educational system.
But mere mentioning and realisations won’t work here. The Indian education system requires a simultaneous investment of thought and action. This liberal education will certainly be a game changer for our demographic dividend if implemented soon and at appropriate levels (primary and secondary levels).
Cultivating Good Values
The draft NEP 2019 envisions the creation of a ‘National Education Commission’ or ‘Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog‘, as an apex body for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous basis. NEP, along with the academic needs, can also focus on the value inculcation to impart the values of integrity, ethics, morality and humanity.
Mental Health Education
Many students go through episodes of stress, anxiety and depression when it comes to education pressure. Why can’t we incorporate a ‘Mental Health Education/Awareness Programme’ to tackle the same?
Times are changing and the need of the hour is to produce a bright, intelligent and informed demographic of students. Information is being loaded at an unprecedented rate, and everywhere the competition has become about quantity. Why are we forgetting about the quality or values that make a person wise and human-like?
It is good and necessary for a developing country like India to focus on Higher Education, but that must happen without compromising on the essence of an education system. A beneficial education system comprises of academics, values, sports, health, arts, creativity and much more. Why haven’t we realised the importance of values yet? Is it so difficult to understand that a lack of good values begets insensitivity, corruption, crime, and illegal activities? My viewpoint can be summed up as – value inculcation and mental health awareness should be part of the National Education Policy.