New Education Policy 2020 and Nomadic Communities
Charles Dickens wrote a novel, A Tale of Two Cities, on the background of Paris and London before and during the French Revolution, which became very popular.
The words and thoughts said in this novel are as relevant today as they were in that era. Dickens says through this novel that there are different periods of time.
The meaning of time also changes in every round. For some people it is a time of light, for some, it is a time of darkness. For some it is a spring of hope, for some, it is a winter of utter despair.
For some, it is the age of faith, for some the age of unbelief.
New Education Policy and Nomadic Communities
The New Education Policy, 2020 has also brought a cascade of hope for some communities and winter of despair for some.
For example, there are many shortcomings in this policy for the community living along the river, the pastoral society, the people who settle, the community living by the hawker and the nomadic community, without solving which the success of this policy is not possible.
According to a report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India has been ranked 131st out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2020. According to the Human Development Report, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are also better than India in the index.
Education is a state subject in our constitution. The state government has the right to make policy related to this. The central government can show the direction.
It is up to the state government to walk on it or go ludicrously. Along with education, skill training is also being talked about in the new education policy.
This provision is useful for all those communities who earn their livelihood from their skills. In this sense, such schools and ashram shalas have already been arranged for tribal children, where they are given education along with skill training. This would be the first time in independent India for other communities.
The new education policy came in July 2020. Almost a year has passed, but nothing seems to be happening on the ground, where skills are being taught.
Although the big reason for this has been Kovid, after the lockdown opens, is this work possible with already tired schools and rusty teachers?
The first thing is that there is a special thing related to the life and knowledge of these communities. Their knowledge does not come from books but is related to the need and life process of society.
These people imbibe it only through continuous practice. If these communities survive, then only this knowledge will survive. The second thing is related to the process of transfer of that knowledge.
These communities associate their children with their work, their spiritual practice from birth. The baby of the shepherd is born in the herd of animals.
The child of Jogi-Sapera plays with snake since birth. The child of the shepherd grows up watching the work of iron. That is to say that there is no definite process of this knowledge.
Thirdly, the children of these communities start earning their livelihood by the age of eight to ten years. They do not study for twenty-five-thirty years for a living.
The new education policy is effective so far, where children of eight to ten years of age can get livelihood through skill.
Fourthly, these communities have been outside our formal educational system for centuries.
They can be educated only in an informal way. Any such thoughtless step will put a discount on our new education policy, which will not only be borne by these communities, but the rest of the communities will also have to bear the loss.
Fifthly, we have very little written for these communities in the school curriculum of any state government. All our understanding about them rests only on prejudice, hearsay and second-rate research.
All this thinking considers them to be thieves, dance-singers and tent-dera dwellers. Whereas they have been the people running the society.
State governments have to give them a proper place in their school curriculum so that people can get acquainted with their life and culture and a sense of respect and natural love can be inculcated towards them.
The sixth important point is that 93 percent of the employment in our economy is in the informal sector. Only 7 per cent of employment is in the formal sector and even in that government services are very limited.
It is an established truth that we cannot give government jobs to everyone.
If they can earn employment with their skills in time, what can be better than this!
With the new education policy, we need a new curriculum, new thinking and teachers with special abilities, who can understand all these communities, their life struggle, their culture.
There should be interest in that study so that the children consider it their own. Otherwise, it will not take time for the condition of this policy to become like a government school.