By Chandan Kumar
The education system in Uttar Pradesh will be streamlined in line with the National Education Policy (NEP-2020) and focus on imparting job-oriented holistic education to students, according to Dhirendra Pal Singh, the education advisor to the state chief minister.
Singh, former chairman of the University Grants Commission, told PTI that implementation of the NEP-2020 in the state will lead to better coordination among educational institutes which is needed to improve quality of education.
“Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is concerned about the quality of education in the state. He wishes that quality education must be accessible. The CM believes the country will develop when the focus is also on developing the character of students and instilling a sense of nationalism in them right from basic education,” he said.
“The NEP-2020 focuses on holistic education which also include vocational and interest based subjects that can be selected by students. Studying these subjects will certainly help the students to improve their employability according to the demand of the job market, ” said Singh.
The NEP-2020 allows students to choose subjects of their liking beyond their stream (science, commerce, arts). For example a student studying maths with physics can also choose music or philosophy as one of the subjects. Though this gives a broader choice of subject selection to students, it creates a challenge for the education institutes.
Singh said that higher education institutes in the state need to overhaul their system to accommodate the requirements of NEP-2020. “The educational institutes at school, college and university level are compartmentalised which deters knowledge sharing and limits the preview of quality education. This can be removed by improving linkages between them with the help of NEP-2020,” he added.
To improve quality of education, Singh is of the view that higher education institutes must apply for the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) done by the Education ministry “Application for NAAC accreditation and NIRF ranking provide an opportunity to institutes assess themselves and make necessary changes or improvements. Our aim is to ensure that all higher education institutes of the state apply for NAAC and NIRF ranking in the next three years. The institutes which have NAAC rating will help other institutes to get it,” said Singh.
NIRF ranks institutes of engineering, management, pharmacy, law, medical, architecture and dental on their areas of operation.
Talking about teachers, he said implementation of the NEP-2020 will require capacity building and training of teachers in the state.
“Under the NEP, the teachers will have to fulfil various responsibilities for which they must be trained,” he said.
Singh, who has served as the vice chancellor of various universities, said the implementation of the NEP-2020 includes aspects of capacity building of teachers. The advisor said that he aims to reach out to the department of primary education, secondary education, higher education and technical education to streamline the process of implementation of the NEP-2020.
“The NEP-2020 has a number of goals. These include increasing gross enrolment ratio (GER) both in schools and at higher educational institutions. Another goal is to establish a Multidisciplinary Education and Research University (MERU) of global standard in each district. This will diversify the availability of universities across the state,” said Singh.
When asked about the state of research in the state, the advisor said that he plans to link universities with higher research institutes. “The chief minister is of the view that higher research must include issues related to the state or the region the institute is located in. This aspect is currently missing or is overlooked. The plan is to link universities with research institutes and labs for better interaction and knowledge sharing,” he explained.
The advisor said that in the first phase universities will be linked with institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) located in various parts of the state. CSIR institutions will be encouraged to do mentoring and support universities and colleges by allowing their students to benefit from their knowledge and resources.