NEP 2020 Implementation: Parental Support

The policy approves an integrated approach based on holistic multidisciplinary education
NEP 2020 Implementation: Parental Support
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On July 29, 2022, NEP 2020 completed two years of its adoption by the Union Cabinet. Any policy, by definition, provides a general guideline dealing with ‘What’ and ‘Why’ part of an intent. Whereas, rules-regulations-programs deal with translating ‘What’ part into ‘How’ part of doing it. Of course, the pros and cons of the policy have been critically examined by the stakeholders at length before its adoption. The policy has been in the process of implementation right from past two years. The process of implementation starts with the soft components gradually leading to hard components envisaged in the policy in a phased manner. Now the strategies are being identified and models designed to deal with ‘How’ part rather than ‘What’ and ‘Why’ part of the policy.

The policy approves an integrated approach based on holistic multidisciplinary education (HME). There is no water-tight compartmentalization. “There is no distinction between curricular and co/extracurricular activities. There is no distinction between academic and nonacademic activities”, says K. Kasturirangan. While implementing the policy, a learner busy with on-off campus activities is to be given equal significance and space. A learner is to be engaged in class room conversation, sports activities in a play field, practical in lab, performing skit in a theatre, writing an assignment-term paper-project-dissertation in library, acquiring soft/life skills and technical/21st century skills in a workshop (to maintain a good balance between the two), engaged in internship/apprenticeship in industry and so on. Understanding a problem and finding its solution in a corporate office, busy in helping victims of a calamity, assisting needy fellow beings on the road side, managing traffic jams, donating blood, conducting survey in a far off rural area/country side, spreading message of brotherhood, engaged in a local craft activity and hundreds of such activities where he is being groomed based on experiential learning with due regard to dignity of labour, respect for fellow citizens, love for the society and so forth. All these activities cover the entire gamut of HME and its implementation.

After issuance of common academic calendar, the HED has issued notification dated 1st July, 2022 for student-faculty-institution feedback. This initiative is a step towards student empowerment. Primarily the vision of NEP 2020 is attainment of excellence. This offers quality sustenance and enhancement of systems and processes. A variety of parameters covering student feedback are well thought over. This is a proper intervention towards achieving the intent of NEP 2020. This will help the faculty to improve upon teaching-learning process so that quality graduates are churned out from HEIs who can contribute in the overall development of society. Of course, the format is available on HED website and uploaded by all colleges on their respective websites as well. The feedback format like common academic calendar should form a part of instructional manual of every institution. A proper mechanism needs to be adopted as huge data accumulated, based on number of students and courses of study, is subject to analysis for follow up action to achieve desired objectives of this initiative. The whole exercise needs seriousness on the part of different stakeholders to make it a reality.

In the aforesaid backdrop, parents being important stake holder in the education ecosystem cannot afford to be dormant/silent partners in the enterprise of educating the new generations. They have a responsibility to monitor and assess the performance of their wards engaged in different productive activities during a day. They should have a rapport with their wards and should be in know of the daily activities they are engaged in. Primarily they are required to ensure that their wards attend their institutions regularly and are punctual in the activities carried out on the campus. They have also to ensure that their wards behave properly at home and at formal and informal social gatherings. Parents are expected to support/guide their wards and prove exemplary role model when they face moral dilemmas. They should guide their children as regards living a meaningful social life. They should also take interest in the institutional functioning and understanding Nitti-gritty of feedback (mentioned above) with due regard to its objective and perspective. This is the ethical role of the parents and implied intent of the policy.

Assessment is a link between teaching-learning process. Self-peer-parental-teacher assessment of learners under 360 degree assessment model with regard to comprehensive continuous internal assessment (formative/diagnostic assessment) end-semester-examination (summative evaluation), participation in on-off campus activities (institutional/inter institutional) and skill development (internship/apprenticeship). NEP 2020 emphasizes upon formative assessment rather than summative evaluation. Parental assessment like self-peer assessment is based on their fair feedback.

There should be regular Parent-Teacher Meets (PTMs) conducted in the HEIs as well to deliberate upon the progress made in the process of implementation and outcomes attained with an analysis of deviations, if any. PTM is fundamentally an interaction between supply side and demand side stakeholders. Parents should be in a demanding position from teachers in the interest of their children. The style of conduct of PTMs is to be reversed. Of course, parents as stakeholder have to make sound contribution in the growth and development of their wards. Simultaneously they are expected to know from teachers steps initiated by them towards contribution/value addition in the processes. This should be the objective of PTM rather something routine done until now. The fact of the matter is that the present generation of students is not mostly first generation learners, their parents are in a position to participate in these meetings and interact with teachers for the betterment of their wards under study. Parents are interested in the investment made in their children to result in dividend in terms of exemplary behavior and productive employability. The society boosts of its demographic dividend. It is pitiable that thirty hundred thousand student academic work days have been non-productive from March to July, 2022. In these columns requests have frequently been made to all the concerned to engage these students in gainful life skills/lab work during these five months, but of no avail. Parents as stakeholder may also question for this wastage of time.

At the end of the day parents are interested in recruitment of their wards in dignified and gainful employment. The recruitment in future will be skill plus talent based rather than degree based alone as used to be until now. It is now a practice across the globe. It is pertinent to mention that the constitution of India in its original enactment defined education as state subject. However, education was placed in concurrent list under 42nd amendment of the constitution in the year 1976. Keeping in view the diversity of the country while framing program of action states can have an intervention to some extent. The UGC regulations also provide an opportunity to make suitable changes in light of local situation. While translating the policy under discussion into action the states can make an intervention with due consultation of stakeholders keeping in view the very vast spread and diversity of the country. To conclude, the policy is to be implemented in a mission mode in its perspective. All stake holders including parents are expected to contribute towards its implementation in letter and spirit. Parents are desired that their wards have the best quality education to prove themselves responsible global citizens. Among five pillars, accountability occupies central position on which the structure of NEP 2020 rests. Like any other stakeholder, parents are also accountable for their contribution towards sustainable implementation of the policy.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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