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Whatever might be education policy, how it would function is the fundamental issue

By Harasankar Adhikari 

The National Education Policy 2020, whether it is good or bad for making our future prosperous, is politically the most debated issue. We see it creates a division among educationists and think tanks, which is purposefully done according to the political colours. It reminds me of Rabindranath Tagore's belief that "God is the creator, and as His children, we, man and woman, must also be creators." But that goes against the purposes of the tyrant, of the schoolmaster, of the educational administration, and of most of the governments, each of whom wants the children to grow up according to the pattern which they have set for themselves. It is the real scenario of the Indian Education Policy overtime. It is always determined by the ruling political parties. No alternative is here. So, we could not see any qualitative change in our education system.
Whatever might be the education policy, how it would function is the fundamental issue. Teachers, or schoolmasters, according to Tagore, are the key actors in adopting the system or policy or nurturing our future in order to build a stronger nation. So, they have some qualities other than their educational qualifications and other achievements for a schoolmaster job that have to be determined. It means what their inner qualities would be to appropriately guide our future talents. Today, children are not safe in their school-second home to their teachers ( second gurdian). Cases of arrogency, molestation, and other types of harassment are regularly being reported. Has the NEP taken any proper steps to make the schoolmaster a real second guardian to their pupils? Perhaps it has no place in this new policy.
According to Tagore, education "wasn't the choice of the schoolmaster profession by people who ought to have for their vocation that of executioner or prison-warder or something of that kind. An immense amount of sympathy, understanding, and imagination are needed to bring up human children. They are not produced or trained for some purpose of display, they are not dancing bears or monkeys. They are human beings, with the treasure of their mind and their spirit......He who has lost the child in himself is absolutely unfit for this great work of educating human children." It is now very relevant to educational professionals from lower to higher education systems.
So, "the schoolmaster is of opinion that the best means of educating a child is by concentration of mind." Further, "teachers are the only alternative to the pupils after their mothers for their freedom of relationship. They have this freedom of relationship with their mother, though she is much older in age, in fact through her human love, she feels no obstruction in their communion of hearts, and the mother almost becomes a comrade to her children."
"Most teachers do not know that in order to teach boys, they have to be boys. Unfortunately, schoolmasters are observed with the consciousness of their dignity as grown up persons and as learned men, and therefore they always try to burden the children with their grown-up manners and their learned manners, and that hurts the minds of the students unnecessarily."
"The edifice of education should be our common creation, not only the teachers, and not only the organisations, but also the students. It should be a student-centric approach. ...Only through freedom can man attain his fulness of growth, and where we restrict that freedom, it means that we have some purpose of our own which we impose on the children, and we have not in mind Nature's own purpose of giving the child its fulness of growth".
NEP also belives our educational institutions have some purpose that children should be producing patriots, practical men, soldiers, bankers, than it may be necessary that we have to put them through the mechanical drill of obedience and discipline! But that is not like fulness of life, not the fulness of humanity. He who knows that nature's own purpose is to make the boy a full man when he grows up-full in all directions, mentally and mainly spiritually -- he who realizes this, brings up the child in the atmosphere of freedom. Unfortunately, we have our own human weakness, and we have our love of power, and some teachers—most schoolmasters—have that inherent love of power in them, and they find this field ready-made for its exercise upon these helpless children.
Last of all, will this NEP cover this aspect of the education system? Man-making education is now mechanical education where greed and corruption have been tied up. No sacrifice among teachers is making our future doomed.



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