Published: 07th August 2020
PM Narendra Modi on NEP: Learning in mother tongue till class V will strengthen children's foundation
The Prime Minister was speaking during the Transformational Reforms in Higher Education conclave and also acknowledged the efforts of Dr Kasturirangan, Chairman in creating the NEP
There is no contention about the fact that when childrens’ mother tongue and the medium of instruction in school is the same, the learning capability of the child increases. That's why it has been agreed that students will be taught in their mother tongue till class V, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while delivering the inaugural address for the Transformational Reforms in Higher Education conclave under the National Education Policy 2020 and organised by University Grants Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development today. "Only when this happens, the foundation of students is strengthened," he added.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged the various debates and questions erupting, which are bound to happen and are natural, about the NEP and said that all of it leads to a healthy debate. And the more debates we have, the better it is for the education system on the whole. "And as far as political will is concerned, I am committed to you," he said. He also went on to highlight the purpose of NEP and said, "The aim is to make India strong, take it to new heights and ensure that they are ready for opportunities."
Those questions, answered
PM Modi also took us back to the questions they were all dabbling with while coming up with NEP, two of the most important ones were — Is our education system motivating creativity, curiosity and commitment in youngsters and if it is empowering them. Apart from reducing the syllabus in this already information-heavy environment, NEP has also introduced the 5+3+3+4 structure. "We want to adopt an inquiry, discovery, discussion and analysis-based techniques which will increase class participation as well," he said. He also lingered on the fact that students have been given the freedom to leave and join another course. These and other reforms go a long way in ensuring that, "Apart from making students global citizens, we ensure that they remain rooted," he said.
"No work is small or big. Then where did this discrimination against manual labourers and others come from? One reason is our education has been disconnected from this aspect of society," said Modi. Hence, there is a lot of attention paid to the dignity of labour in the NEP as only when students visit villages and see farmers, labourers and others working hard, will they learn to respect their efforts. Similarly, coding, research and virtual labs have also been emphasised, he said.
When it comes to higher education
When it comes to empowering higher education, there are two questions that come to mind. One is that the institutions should run as per government guidelines and the other is that every institution, by default, should get autonomy, said the PM. The first builds mistrust in the non-government institutions and in the second, autonomy is looked at as entitlement. "The path to good quality education is in between them," he said and continued, “The institution which works more for quality education, should be rewarded with more freedom to encourage good quality education. Our endeavour has always been to grant autonomy to as many institutions as possible. And as and when NEP is implemented, the institutions will understand the procedure of autonomy,” he informed.
Teacher training has also received a lot of attention under NEP, said the 69-year-old. "Because when a teacher learns, a nation leads," he said. He also encouraged one and all to keep discussing the NEP and organise more and more webinars around it. "Make a strategy for the policy and to implement the strategy, create a roadmap and attach a timeline to it. And to implement all of this, add the resources and human resources it will take," he said.
The former Chief Minister of Gujarat also stressed on the fact that, "NEP is not just a circular which can be implemented by notification. We have to be determined and show efforts to build the future of India. With our efforts, the whole generation will get a direction and I invite you to do so," he said.