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Ending Macaulayism and Regaining Ancient Glory with New Education Policy-2020 (Part-3)

The National Education Policy emphasizes on interdisciplinary studies and integrated curriculum in higher education for learning opportunities, aimed at providing value based holistic education, if we want our future generation to see a better planet and survive longer. — Dr. Rekha Bhatt


With the National education policy-2020, India moves towards utilizing its vast human resources as a demographic dividend to become self –sufficient. Today India is the fastest growing economy in pace with the global development, with the vision of the new education policy, to establish new dimensions for the world. Giving wider linguistic choices, the new education policy paves the way for people of all regions, to interact and communicate with togetherness, creating more job opportunities. The path of self-sufficiency in all sectors incorporates the essential elements – Indian, International, Impactful, Interactive and inclusive economy. India is moving faster in pace with global development, to attain self-sustained economy through development of villages. The education system supported with native language is an important step for large rural masses of India to move ahead along with Programs like Stand-up India and Skill India. In this era of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum-Computing, our education policy is taking all aspects of modernity along with multidisciplinary and multilingual aspects. 

The National Education Policy emphasizes on interdisciplinary studies and integrated curriculum in higher education for learning opportunities, aimed at providing value based holistic education, if we want our future generation to see a better planet and survive longer. For Sustainable Development, there is an urgent need to change our behavior towards our mother nature. Therefore, planting more trees and nurturing them regularly, using public transport, reducing the unnecessary usage of electricity, water and plastic would be a contribution towards a better future. This can be achieved by fostering collaboration between educational institutions and public and private industry as well as by designing  innovative  projects  and pursuing  the idea of  reuse, reduce and recycle. 

Developing scientific temperament needs critical thinking in mother tongue, effective not only with increase in social media posts but with practice  to understand  by  evaluating and questioning  the  thought process  for better decision making, concerning personal and professional life.  Skill training to the youth of India will respond to the myriad challenges of the future. Basic skill training lessons can be part of any curriculum to teach survival techniques for day to day life and supportive skills such as repairing small appliances related to mechanical, electrical works, and electronic devices and gadgets for urgent needs. These skills will make the younger generation self-reliant and earn their livelihood while helping and supporting the senior citizens in doing their basic tasks. Research and investigations would be another necessary skill which would be relevant and much needed in professional life.

The main objective of this policy is to include technical education - from school education to higher education, concerning modern made by India technology. Machines are going to be more powerful source of communication being  more  advanced, to overcome human communication barriers, Amazon’s Alexa is ready to communicate with human Language, for the future generation who will be expert in using their fingers to type messages, but, would be unable to frame sentences to speak to their family and friends, in person, Communication tasks must be created, where students can communicate with each other in mother tongue to improve  their communication skills through conducting interviews, focus group discussions and challenge-based team activities which will lead the students  to communicate with  each other  with a  healthy  mindset. 

The new National Education Policy lays substantial emphasis on holistic and multi-disciplinary education as well as additional educational activities such as sports and humanities Integrating with knowledge science research technology and innovation with human values.  Moving towards high economic growth with increasing need of globalization caused a powerful impact over linguistic diversity of India.  Many regional languages of India face a serious risk of extinction, the most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in distant areas. The legacy of linguistic imperialism meant the imagining of the elites, inextricably linked to the imperialist language, their faith that “English fits on all counts’ seems to reflect a belief that -English has served as the dominant language in certain parts of globe, it merits global marketing, despite all the evidence globally that linguistic and cultural diversity is a source of richness and distinctiveness. The long term effects of colonization and assimilation, have ridden of their native tongues and, socio-economic circumstances today, have not made the task of resurrecting such languages any easier language. 

In the world of globalization, small indigenous languages will die, wherever English appears in a foreign territory. The political independence of third world countries did not led to their linguistic liberation, with the view that former colonial languages like Hindi and Sanskrit  are no more useful to bond up with international community but are simply a bridgehead to western interests, permitting contribution to global system of economic exploitation  for  the export of raw materials of colonial countries and import of technology techniques through linguistic dependence, they continued the use of languages of colonial countries. Such Linguistic imperialism took place where language interlocked with other dimensions like economic, political and cultural particularly in education, science and media. The imperialist rejected the linguistic legitimacy of a language used by their colonial countries, and this made us poorer by an unnecessary narrowing of our cultural and linguistic horizons.

Education is a vital site for linguistic reproduction, the inculcation of relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes. In India, the linguistic imperialism was operated as two languages-sanskrit and arabic were central to linguistic ecology of our country, and the colonial language English was being used as a medium of education and interests of linguistic hierarchies were promoted by the specific language policy, linguicism existed between speakers of a language Hindi, in process of resource allocation when one dialect was privileged as a standard and was preferred as the language of modernity and progress.

This sort of professional competence goes in foreign language education throughout the western world but is still regarded as superfluous due to imperial powers belief that their culture and language is universally relevant and the factor analyzed is that, the increased competence for English language is ethnocentricity of rulers. Teaching in English, as a foreign language continued, the colonial practices even in the post colonial world, while from 17th century onwards culminating in the 19th century, the medium of education was the dominant local language not only in primary but also in secondary education. There is a paradigm shift to radical rethinking for the language in education policies worldwide after analyzing the weaknesses of the past system and account for its failures. 

Scholarly analyses of Education Policy-2020 is now formulating and articulating, multilingual strategies for education, communication and every sector of social life and more closely defining, that the real need for English is only in the specific contests. The  importance of Hindi is increasing worldwide and  fifty countries all over the world have included Hindi in their curriculum for the  need to compete with the growing economy of India, even China came out to the exposure of globalization where the only mandarin was used  for  learning, china has now adopted  English and Hindi in their education system  Even developed countries England and America were mainly English speaking are now implementing trilingual education policy, with either Spanish, Hindi or Mandarin as second and third languages.  

Making wider linguistic choices available, national education policy-2020 is able to retain the general concept that, English is not the only language for communication of knowledge, which has sources of science and literature and is not the only universally accepted language. Developing local languages for educational use are necessary and desirable societal goals for counteracting discriminatory practices in education, public services and media. 

Process of learning in mother tongue may bring innovations according to the needs of our society, by our highly trained talented youth, instead of raising the economies of foreign countries. While  only  two percent of English educated youth working as highly paid workers on the  highest posts of multinational companies, a common belief still perceives in our youth that  English speaking  Indians  acquire  international jobs while Chinese don’t because Chinese legged behind in English learning and are producing mono-linguistic mandarin speaking  generations. China has made commendable efforts to induce academic rigor and quality to put its educational courses on a par with international standards. Over forty five of China’s medical colleges are approved to impart medical education to foreign students. Countries like China and Germany are developing as their talents are contributing to become the fastest growing economies of the world.

The higher education sector in India remained inwardly oriented despite the fact that the country is home to the world’s second place of preference in education. India can still capitalize in higher education and make India a global hub in education so that it can regain its ancient glory as the centre of knowledge, creation and dissemination. Especially as India moves towards utilizing its vast human resources as a demographic dividend, the vision of the new education policy will be to establish new dimensions and freedom to higher educational institutions and universities, to redefine their role towards creating a new India. With an end to linguistic imperialism of Macaulay’s education system and uprisihg India with the development of youth led self-sustained economy and regaining the ancient glory of world leader India, the National Education policy-2020 will  prove to be the path-maker in the determination to become India, the World leader in education.

The Author is Assoc. Prof. Chemistry, Govt. Meera Girls College, Udaipur

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