New education policy aims to produce job creators: PMUpdated: Aug 02, 2020 00:02 IST
New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday strongly backed the push in the newly unveiled National Education Policy (NEP) for use of local languages as the medium of instruction in schools.
Most countries that are in the top 20 in terms of the size of gross domestic product (GDP) use the local language as the medium of teaching, Modi said in a speech at Smart Hackathon 2020, an initiative to promote a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving among students.
“In our country language has always been a sensitive subject. That is why the local languages were left uncared for and had little chance to develop. Now changes have been made in the education policy which will let these languages advance. They will not only boost Indian knowledge, but also unity,” Modi said.
A major advantage of this approach would be that students would get to lean during their initial years in their own language. This will help them learn without pressure, he said.
“Even if we look at the top 20 countries GDP-wise, than most of them provide education in their native language. These countries help their youth develop understanding in their own language but also focus on other languages to communicate globally. This policy and strategy will be very useful for India of the 21st century,” the prime minister said.
On Wednesday, the cabinet headed by Modi approved the much-awaited NEP 2020, which says that wherever possible, students until class V and preferably until class VIII should be taught in their mother tongue. There has been much debate on the medium of teaching after the policy was released. The human resource development ministry has stressed that the policy seeks to encourage local languages, but is not urging a shedding of the English language.
Modi said NEP was not just a policy document but reflected the will of the people. Modi also said flexibility was a hallmark of the policy, which will enable students to study music with math or coding with chemistry.
“Many children still feel that they are judged on the basis of a subject,” Modi said, adding that they were forced to study subjects in which they had no interest.
The NEP aims to change this approach and rectify past lacunae, Modi said, adding that both the intent and content of education were being transformed.
“We are shifting from the burden of the school bag, which does not last beyond school, to the boon of learning which helps for life. From simply memorizing to critical thinking. For years, the limitations of the system had an adverse effect on the lives of students. No longer!” Modi said, elaborating on the rationale behind the policy.
Stressing the breaking of subject-stream barriers, Modi said history has examples of stalwarts like Aryabhata, Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller and Rabindranath Tagore, who excelled in diverse fields. Now, the government has done away with some traditional boundaries between arts, science and commerce, he said.
He said the NEP was also aimed at helping turn young Indians into job creators from job seekers.