The Union Ministry of Education has started work on the implementation of the new education policy. Many state governments and institutes of higher education have also formed committees for this. Facing the challenges of the Corona period, the Ministry of Education conducted major examinations like NEET and JEE and its results have also been declared.
The doubts that people had about the examinations have been resolved. The political opposition that emerged from these doubts was also handled by the Ministry of Education, but in the meantime, a question is arising as to what the new education policy is for Dalits, backward, tribal groups and minorities? If you read the Aadhaar letter of the new education policy, then all these groups are placed in the Socio-economically disadvantaged group, (SEDG). In this category, many social groups like Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward, Women, Transgenders are still left out. In this concept paper of education policy, it has been said to continue the successful schemes already running for these social groups.
Those schemes, whether made during the UPA government or brought in the first term of the Narendra Modi government, have not been canceled. The new education policy provides for special educational zones (SEZs) for educational co-ordination of disadvantaged groups. Under this, such areas where the number of these disadvantaged groups are more, they will be selected. A number of new and collaborative schemes have been adopted in these specific educational zones and a strategy has been adopted to undertake the educational support of such socio-economic and other types of the underprivileged.
Along with this, a commitment has been made to create an environment of easy acceptance for such groups in every education campus. For this, the Ministry of Education will have to conduct 'inclusion monitoring' and Chetna Jagran campaigns on the campuses of all educational institutions in the country. Under Inclusion Monitoring, the existing structure for inclusion in educational institutions will have to be repaired and innovative provisions will also have to be made.
Even more important to create an inclusive environment for the underprivileged, we have to complete the work of sensitizing students and teachers to these issues. There is also a provision to provide special support to alternative schools of minority religious groups. Many alternative schools run in remote areas in India.
The government has made a provision for giving special grants to such alternative schools. Along with this, it has also been arranged that for the inclusion of the underprivileged groups in the education sector, educational leadership and teachers should be selected from the same communities and they should be linked with the campaign of education in such groups. This would have two benefits - one would create some jobs for these groups, second, such teachers would emerge as an agency to spread education among their groups with more sensitive and emotional engagement. Democracy has its own needs and its own pressures.
It is noteworthy that many efforts were made to address the complaints of some sections of minority groups with the NDA government. It is visible in the education policy that provisions have been made to support madrasa education without disturbing the status of schools of minority groups. There has been talking of encouraging minority groups to open schools as well as colleges and universities. The provision of special scholarship has been explained to make their admission in educational institutions easier.
The gendered face of the new education policy has also been made very effective. That is, special attention has been paid to the inclusion of girls and women. Even while talking about the education of Dalits and Backward Classes, special schemes and campaigns have been said to connect girls and women of these social groups with education. This education policy has shown a commitment to creating a lagging inclusion fund. These funds will be accumulated with the state governments, which will be spent in the implementation of the new schemes of the central government. This fund will develop logistic equality in education.
There has been talking of using open and distance learning in mission mode for the education of disadvantaged groups. Under this, provision has been made to provide education in the most deprived and remote areas through open school. Booklets are being published by many service-oriented institutions to bring the provisions of the new education policy to socio-economic groups so that these groups know what is in this education policy for them.
Corona has posed many challenges to all of us and our education world. It has also created difficult conditions for our development. In these difficult situations, the implementation of the new education policy has to be done. It remains to be seen how long the preparations are being made by the Ministry of Education, Government of India to implement the new education policy, and how we can improve the quality of our education system in the face of the crises of this Corona period. Can we do it?