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EDUCATION POLICY REFORMS FOR THE HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHILD

The new education policy was instituted some time ago in 2020. This Education policy replaced the 34-year-old Education policy which was introduced in 1986. This Education policy can be considered a positive step toward positive changes in the Indian Education System. The Present Education system in India has some issues like Lack of education for all, Limited streams and subject choices, High-stress levels among students, and certain language-oriented and pedagogy and curriculum-related issues. [1] The current education Policy has made various policy changes to deal with all of these problems. It has made structural changes, Policy changes about early childhood care, curriculum & pedagogy, and some evaluation-based reforms. This blog post will be elucidating the need for changes in the current education system, the Purpose of Education, the Importance of Holistic Education, and policy changes that can enable the Indian Education system to achieve Holistic Education Standards.

PURPOSE OF EDUCATION

According to UNESCO “Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development.”[2] This definition meticulously explains the purpose of education.  Education facilitates learning; it makes people able enough to understand the concepts and realities of how the world works. Education’s purpose is to make people acquire, skills, values, and beliefs through a continuous process of some years by going to the institute following a specific routine full of different exposures and lessons that enable them to develop their understanding and make them able enough to live their independent life. But when we see today’s Indian education system the emphasis is not on making an individual mature and independent enough to live the rest of their life. The emphasis is not on overall development but only on Academic development. When we say education’s main purpose is to develop people’s understanding and make them able enough to live their independent life. We mean potential recognition and utilization. When a person recognizes one’s potential and works on it. He/ she can utilize it to live the rest of their life happily and independently. And by focusing on overall development Individuals make themselves able enough to face the problems in life. Hence, the main goal of an education system should be Potential recognition, Potential utilization, and overall development of the child.

HOLISTIC EDUCATION

Holistic Development pertains to the overall development of a child.  It focuses on all the areas of development of that child. It includes but is not limited to social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development. The overall development is essential for a person because it enables a person to become the very best version of him/her. This should be the goal of a person to live his life in a meaningful way and positively contribute to society.

It also facilitates potential recognition. When a person is only exposed to one particular area of development, this person is limited to that only area. And, when one limits oneself to one area and exposes oneself to very limited options of learning, the possibility of determining one’s real potential is quite less as compared to one who has more options and exposes them self to those. Hence, one should focus on overall development. When one focuses on overall development he has a greater probability to learn a lot of things. Based on this fact, the possibility of determining one’s real potential is higher than those who focused on only one area. That’s why holistic development is something that is of the utmost importance for the child’s growth.

Now the question is if Holistic development is so important how can one achieve it? Achieving it by trying is almost impossible. No one can expose oneself to multiple options of learning without any facilitator. That’s why schools are essential for holistic development. The reason is, that a school or an educational institute is possibly the only place that provides multiple options for learning and serves as facilitators for students based on their mental calibre and other strengths and weaknesses. 

The reason why only educational institutions can serve as facilitators they have the incentive to provide these options of learning to students as educational institutions’ main focus is the growth of students. What are these options of learning and how do educational institutions provide them to students and how they can help in a child’s growth? All the students have different calibre and different approaches due to their sounding and upbringing.  Now determining their interests by only exposing them to the same academics and activities won’t help in determining students’ real interests and potential. That’s why exposing students to multiple activities which are different from academics like music, social discourses, calligraphy, art, sports, etc. is essential. These activities are other but important options for learning. As these are a lot of options to explore. They can serve as a solid way to find the real interests and potential of a child and they all are also learning processes. By exposing students to many options, overall development happens and the task of potential recognition becomes much easier.

NEED FOR CHANGES IN THE INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM

The Indian Education system’s main problem is it works in such a manner that it doesn’t facilitate the overall development and potential recognition of a student. This should be the main aim of any education system. Well, there are policy mechanisms like extracurricular activities but focus on them is minimal. The major focus of all the schools is on the academic results of the students. And the number of extra-curricular activities provided by the schools is very less. This is the main problem and is the prime spot where policy changes are required. Even in the new economic policy, there is a mention of the fact that extracurricular activities must be there in every school, but no way to measure how good or bad the performance of schools in these activities is? And, how will these affect the result of the school?  This doesn’t provide any incentive for schools to focus on these activities (extracurricular) which are essential for students’ overall development and potential recognition.

Second, the major problem is -minimal to low focus on vocational education. This is the part of potential utilization. One’s person has recognized his potential and it is not in the core professions and is a vocational subject. The person having an interest in such subject professions has any scope in India. This is the major reason for brain drain. The people with vocational talents don’t have any scope in India so they migrate to other countries for utilizing their talents. This is how other countries utilize and exploit our talent by providing relevant opportunities for their talents.

POSSIBLE POLICY CHANGES FOR HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT IN INDIAN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

 FOCUS ON CLUB ACTIVITIES

In our present education system, Clubs exist in Indian schools and there are four major problems concerning them. First, the clubs are related to organizing and not to harnessing talents. They serve as a management department for the school events and focus less on training for a particular activity. Skill development is not the aim of the clubs but the management. E.g.: the Quiz club organizes quizzes and sends students to interschool quizzes but doesn’t train them for quizzes. Training for quizzes should be given more priority than conducting the quizzes. These clubs should put more focus on training.[3]

Second, membership in the club is based on selection and not on interest. Maybe a person is a beginner but has a propensity for growth based on interest and passion for that thing. This is a philosophy Japanese school clubs follow. They recruit any student who has an interest in joining the club and creates an opportunity for students to turn their interest into skill. In Indian schools, students are selected in a club, Ignoring the interested students and real potential in reality. A student who is talented today / her interests would be transmuted into talents in the past. The clubs can serve the platform to transform interest into talents if the club membership is based on interest and not selection.[4]

Third, Clubs are limited in Indian schools. In Japan, anyone can form a club with 5 interested members and 1 faculty. This allows more options and serves the main purpose of potential recognition. This is a great practice to follow. [5]

Fourth, the club’s activities are not after school in India. This leads to students missing their classes and focusing on club activities, it is not as much as if you do it after school.  In this way, students would have dedicated timings focused on both. These were the problems and solutions related to club activity. One more policy change can be recommended that club activities should be made compulsory for all students in every school. The report for club activities should be sent to respective boards and club activities should have 15-20% of the marking weightage. Every student must secure passing scores in these activities. This will lead to the seriousness of club culture in Indian schools.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL SCHEMES

In, India Vocational education courses are not very recognized. In Finland after high School, Students had a dedicated program for Vocational education. And this can lead to more students opting for vocational education and if the focused programs are created to match world-class standards the problem of brain drain can also be resolved.[6]

CONCLUSION

In India, the focus on Holistic Education is very which leads to a lack of potential recognition and potential utilization which are essential for the holistic development of the child. The policies like changes in Vocational educational Schemes and focus on club activities can lead to possible positive changes in the Indian education system.

Author(s) Name: Shaurya Rana (UPES, Dehradun)

References:

[1] Top 5 Challenges of The Indian Education System and How to Move on With Them? Indian education diary <https://indiaeducationdiary.in/top-5-challenges-of-the-indian-education-system-and-how-to-move-on-with-them/amp/> (Last visited 20 June 2022)

[2]Education, unesco <https://en.unesco.org/themes/education/sdgs/material/04#:~:text=Education%20is%20the%20process%20of, %2C%20values%2C%20beliefs%20and%20habits> (Last visited 20 June 2022)

[3]Daily Life in Japanese High Schools, Marcia L. Johnson and Jeffrey R. Johnson, fsi.stanford.edu <https://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/docs/daily_life_in_japanese_high_schools#:~:text=In%20most%20schools%2C%20clubs%20can,science%2C%20mathematics%2C%20yearbook> (Last visited 20 June 2022)

[4] Daily Life in Japanese High Schools, Marcia L. Johnson and Jeffrey R. Johnson, fsi.stanford.edu <https://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/docs/daily_life_in_japanese_high_schools#:~:text=In%20most%20schools%2C%20clubs%20can,science%2C%20mathematics%2C%20yearbook> (Last visited 20 June 2022)

[5] Daily Life in Japanese High Schools, Marcia L. Johnson and Jeffrey R. Johnson, fsi.stanford.edu <https://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/docs/daily_life_in_japanese_high_schools#:~:text=In%20most%20schools%2C%20clubs%20can,science%2C%20mathematics%2C%20yearbook> (Last visited 20 June 2022)

[6] Finland Education System, Levrageedu, <https://leverageedu.com/blog/finland-education-system/> (Last visited 20 June 2022)