The term stakeholders/stakeholder has been used seventeen times in the sixty four page NEP 2020 document. This gives us an idea how significant a role is expected to be played by different stakeholders towards implementation of the architecture of the new paradigm. Thus, need arises to deliberate upon value creation of various stakeholders in the domain of education ecosystem.
Implementation of NEP 2020 empowers students. Under this policy a student is offered a well-balanced multidisciplinary course structure with due regard to knowledge, values and skills. Thus, it takes care not only of Epistemology but also that of Axiology.
The skills are imparted under National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and non-NSQF categories. Non-NSQF skills are offered in the institutions. These are classroom credit-based courses of study. A variety of non-NSQF courses have been identified based on classroom transaction and allocated to different colleges across J&K by the HED.
A reference of some of these courses is given thus; Agriculture Technology, Horticulture Technology, Veterinary Technology, IT & Computers and Electronics, Infrastructure and Engineering, Human Development, Early Child Care and Teacher Education, Food Technology and Food Processing, Mass Communication and Multimedia Production, Accountancy and Taxation, Banking and Corporate Affairs, Travel and Tourism, Hospitality & Catering Technologies, Fine Arts, Music and Languages, Pharmacy and Paramedical.
However, the NSQF skills are physically embedded with industry, based on internship/apparetiship. There are 30 credits earmarked for this set of skills comprising 12 credits theoretical and 18 credits based on practicals. In order to obtain these 18 credits tie ups are to be made with industry and services of National Skill Development Council (NSDC) can be utilised.
It is practically not possible to engage all students in a semester in an institution for undergoing acquisition of these skills. However, to be pragmatic a convincing number of students say 30 students in each institution could be selected based on their aptitude and accordingly sent for practical work in the concerned industry.
These students accordingly are equipped with soft /life skills as well as well as industrial skills that would improve upon their employability opportunities. This set of skill courses based on NSQF identified to be introduced in select colleges for entrepreneurship and self-employment include as under:
Renewable Energy management, Retail Management, Software Development, Tourism and Service Industry, Handicraft and Handloom, Printing Technology, Processing and Fruit Technology, Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, Mobile Communication, Fashion Technology, Interior Design, Building Technology, Paramedical and Healthcare, Wellness and Naturopathy, Textile Design, Hardware Technology and Networking, Media Production, Banking and Financial Services, Refrigeration and Conditioning.
It is pertinent to mention that Indian economy is moving fast ahead. According to IMF based survey on GDP growth India is replacing United Kingdom and placed at 5th position after America, China, Germany, and Japan. According to SBI report India is expected to occupy 4th position in 2027 after replacing Germany and 3rd position by 2029 after replacing Japan.
This reflects fast economic growth of India which would provide more employment opportunities. The implementation of NEP 2020 is a timely intervention to improve employability of college /university pass outs. The prudence demands that every initiative should be taken to be a part of this growth and development.
An inspiring teacher is the heart of education ecosystem. With more and more autonomous colleges teachers would enjoy academic freedom. An effective teacher develops among students’ confidence and critical thinking, content and curiosity, communication and commitment, competencies and character, etc.
This is the crux of NEP 2020. Teacher enjoys liberty to decide curriculum and pedagogy relevant to content of the course structure. The problem solving capability of students could be developed by transacting course content in a creative and productive way.
A teacher is always in search of new pedagogies as for instance activity based learning, case based learning, games based learning, experiential learning, outcome based learning and so on, besides relevant evaluation mechanism.
In this context an open letter, “Had my result been free of errors…” that appeared in GK dated 3 September, 2022 regarding re-evaluation of answer scripts is an eye-opener and invites attention of all the concerned. In the first instance had first evaluation been done seriously and accurately the examinee would have been satisfied.
Re-evaluation of an answer script is applied for only when an examinee is not satisfied. It is on record that in most of the cases there is change in award of marks after re-evaluation. There are cases also where an answer script is got re-evaluated by third evaluator.
At first the evaluation process should be meticulous. It is not only the award of marks. The practice until now is that some evaluators are liberal whereas some others are conservative. This mechanism is being adopted by an evaluator for the entire lot of answer scripts. However, a uniform style of marking should be adopted by all evaluators in order to ensure uniformity in the award of marks.
Once an examinee is awarded adequate marks after re-evaluation he is satisfied but what about the agony he suffers from and time/financial cost he bears? Once an examinee is awarded marks due to him after re-evaluation he is benefitted.
Those who do not apply for re-evaluation despite not being satisfied suffer from under evaluation of their answer scripts. The universities/autonomous colleges should issue advisory to the evaluators that examinees should be satisfied in the first evaluation.
The intent of the policy is to ensure that the entire process of evaluation should be fair leading to value addition of evaluators, evaluation process and examinees.
As regards faculty development UGC initiated steps like FIPs, summer schools, refresher courses, orientation programmes, workshops, etc. It is pertinent to refer to article titled SMA: His understanding of Education (GK 8th September, 2022) by Prof Gull Mohammad Wani. He writes, “Some twenty one college teachers were deputed for M Phil/Ph D to various universities including JNU in the country under the UGC teachers’ fellowship scheme”. This indicates that the HED has been concerned about raising the bench mark of the college teachers.
It is interesting to put on record that Prof Mohammad Yousaf, the then Principal S. P. College, wrote a letter to the then Hon’ble Chief Minister expressing his apprehensions that majority community was not given due representation. The letter was personally presented by Prof Ali Mohammad Bhat (Physics) to the Hon’ble Chief Minister in his office Chamber at Civil Secretariat, Srinagar.
Prof Bhat narrated that the letter was presented by him to the Hon’ble Chief Minister personally but he was told that due care and representation was given to all the communities in the deputation of teachers outside the state. Accordingly college teachers including Prof Ali Mohammad Bhat (Physics), Prof Bansi Lal Fotehdhar (English) and others were deputed in 1979-80 for higher studies leading to award of research degrees. It is also interesting to note that all the majority community teachers returned with M Phil/ Ph D degrees.
Prior to this in 1976-77 Commissioner Education Prof Saty Bushan recommended some college teachers for deputation in intervals for their higher studies outside the state in order to please the Chief Minister. Professors like Saradara Akhter (Pol. Sc.), Mahmooda Bashir (Economics), Ghulam Rasool Najar (Pol. Sc.), Syed Wajahat Hassan Andrabi (Physics), Muzaffar Ahmad Khan (Botany), Abdul Hamid Zargar (Education) and others, all belonging to a particular community were recommended for deputation outside the state for pursuance of higher studies. Prof Bushan accompanied the team and visited private office of Hon’ble Chief Minister.
He asked them to meet him in the Civil Secretariat Srinagar for a group photograph says Dr Muzaffar Ahmad Khan during a conversation with him on the subject.
Meanwhile it is also worthwhile to note that the then Hon ’ble Prime Minister (SMA) in early fifties, deputed a good number of college teachers including Prof Mohammad Sultan Wantt, Prof M. R. Puri, Prof Jan Mohammad, Prof Apurab Somnath, Prof Shams-ud-Din Ahmad and others for higher studies in leading universities outside the country.
Furthermore, some teachers were deputed to University of Leads (UK) for pursuance of Diploma in Education (Dip. Ed.). They included Prof Ghulam Rasool Dhar, Prof Noor-ud-Din, Prof Abdul Aziz Bhat and others. This reflects that the State Government was always interested in value addition of college teachers by deputing them for higher studies and summer schools outside J&K and outside the country.
After deliberating upon core stake holders in detail a brief discussion about other stakeholders due to paucity of space is attempted.
As stakeholders parents are expected to play their role in the effective implementation of NEP 2020. The faculty is expected to embolden parents to collaborate in the enterprise of achieving relevant objectives and goals.
Parents are the best monitors of their wards and can ensure safe and ethical use of digital devices especially the internet as the educational interactions assisted by the modern information and communication technology are fraught with grave social and moral problems.
They should be in know of the progress of the educational journey of their wards. They should know their goals and destinations, so that they are in a position to do the hand-holding of their wards in a creative and productive manner.
Our society currently is an opinion based network of relations in order to evolve to a knowledge based network of relations, its epistemic level is being raised under the policy. Since society is a stakeholder in the enterprise of education, the policy facilitates it to play its role in improving the education ecosystem. In the reciprocity it will create environment conducive to its own transformation.
Society in general and various social groups in particular should provide assistance to the HEI’s in the form of sponsoring various initiatives in curriculum management. The HEIs in return have to open up their resources for the people living in the vicinity. In this opening up due care and precaution has to be exercised.
The policy expects productive relation between the society and the educational institutions. The policy provides alumni besides their contribution an opportunity for lifelong learning when they are closely associated with their alma mater.
The industry is offered workforce with requisite competencies to improve upon its operational efficiency and productivity. The institution, HED and statuary stake holders (UGC/AICTE) are important players of governance. The statuary stakeholder sets up standards which are implemented by the institution with due facilities created by the HED.
To conclude, the NEP 2020 implementation in its perspective would bring out an effective and productive change in the society.
Any dilution in the policy implementation would have long-term consequences that may not be favourable to the social cause.
Therefore, all stakeholders should work in tandem towards realisation of the vision of the policy keeping in view the demands of twenty first century.
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