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We are not an alternative school.
We are the alternative to schooling.

Do we really need another NEP to fix our system?

AM

Ashwin Mahesh

Aug 05, 2020

When the last education policy was announced, it too was thought to be forward-looking and progressive. If we are now moving away from the 'mistakes' of the past, we also need to ask ourselves why we made these perfectly foreseeable mistakes in the first place.

The problem is not with education policy, but with policy on governance. Too many programs begin with the assumption that the public knows nothing, and that decisions must be made for them on their behalf without their participation. It is this that dooms programs at birth.

The National Education Policy is not very different, in that sense. It will probably meander, a few files will be moved here and there in its name, and things that were going to happen anyway will be re-labelled as ‘NEP steps’. Many institutions will be inconvenienced by the pretence, but that is not new. Those that want to make money will tolerate it, and those who want to advance learning will exit the system.

In 20 years, we will probably abandon this policy too. But it won't matter much because we would not have embraced it properly in the first place. Bad ideas do not mind hiding in plain sight while the world moves on. There are more important things to think about - like learning, for instance.

We don't need a 'national' education policy, except to ensure fairness in access to education. The Union should protect rights, the states and local bodies should deliver public goods and services, and regulators should be independent of government. That is the only model that can work in the real world. The rest is just noise.

Tell us your thoughts on NEP 2020 in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

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We are not an alternative school.
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