India’s language conundrum: The National Education Policy has skirted elegantly a political minefield. But the obstacle is the teacher

In 1947, a weary Britain packed up and left India, leaving behind absent-mindedly the English language and a headache for Indians. Ever since, we’ve been quarrelling over the place of English in our lives, particularly in what language to teach our children. The latest to join the debate is the National Education Policy (NEP), which to its credit, has skirted elegantly a political minefield, coming up with an answer that has satisfied almost everyone, offending only those who insisted on being offended. But the obstacle is the teacher.

One and a half cheers: National Education Policy promises much, but fails to come to grips with India’s education crisis

There is so much good in the recently announced National Education Policy (NEP) that it seems churlish to point out its failings. It will receive well deserved applause. However, the truth is that it has failed to come to grips with the crisis in Indian education. I will focus only on schooling, the crucial foundation of the edifice. Instead of three cheers, I am afraid I can only offer it one and a half.

कोरोना के बाद की दुनिया में भारत को ज्यादा इनोवेटिव स्कूलों की जरूरत होगी, यह तभी होगा जब हम निजी स्कूलों को ज्यादा आजादी देंगे

विदुर महाभारत में कहते हैं, ‘उनसे सावधान रहो, जो कहते कुछ हैं, करते कुछ हैं।’ वे राजा धृतराष्ट्र को ढोंगियों से बचने की सलाह दे रहे थे लेकिन वे भारतीय शिक्षा संस्थानों के बारे में भी यह कह सकते थे, जिनका ढोंग झूठे मिथकों में निहित है। इस ढोंग को कोरोना के बाद की दुनिया में चुनौती मिलेगी, जहां केवल सक्षम और कुछ नया करने वाले ही बचेंगे। दुर्भाग्य से जल्द आने वाली नई राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति ने इस हकीकत का सामना नहीं किया है।

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If India wants to deliver quality education to its children, it needs an honest conversation on private schools

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Who shall live? Who shall die? India faces Sophie’s Choice: our tragic dilemma is to choose between present lives and future lives

The old idea that civilisation is destroyed from within, not from without, has been turned upside down. In just a few weeks a virus ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has spread around the world like wildfire from a market in Wuhan, to threaten our civilised order. How we respond to the moral dilemmas raised by Covid-19 will reflect on our values and the number of lives we save.