History has been divided into BC and AD. Shortly we might start using the phrase ‘Before Covid’ and ‘After Covid’. The world around us has already come to terms with it.
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history” said Martin Luther King Jr. True to this quote, we are being transformed by the pandemic. That is history in the making.
The realm of education has continued without major changes until Covid-19. The result being a dearth of skilled and qualified graduates. As such, a majority of them were not fit to be employed anywhere other than clerical jobs. The need of the hour is skilled manpower. Therefore, there is a need to rewrite and redesign the curriculum to be favourable for the growth and development of the country and the people.
The sudden lockdown and the ensuing chaos during the pandemic put people over the edge and into the darkness of untold miseries. Although, it was a necessary evil for containing the spread of the pandemic.
Thrown into unknown territories, figuring out a perfect solution had to be through trial and error. Children found themselves stuck at their own homes in the middle of their academic year, while universities and schools scrambled for best means to reach out to their students. The change was thrust upon us so quickly that nobody was prepared for it.
As human spirit cannot be cowed down by a small virus, we began preparing the teachers to switch to a new norm – online classes. Unheard in the hinterland all started sharing their experiences, the immense potential of a networked world. Slowly but steadily online classes became the new normal. With redefined learning outcomes, redrafted or reduced syllabus, we did everything to overcome the present chaos.
The education system is poised for a paradigm shift with the introduction of the new National Education Policy, 2020. The 5+3+3+4 structure proposed by NEP would augment the foundation level literacy and numeracy, a need of the hour. It has been proved by various surveys that the learning outcomes at the foundational level in India is way behind when compared with other third world countries. Thus, the focus is now given to building a strong foundation. This policy is heading in the right direction.
I am very optimistic that, the pandemic induced attention in the education and health care sectors are going to bring revolutionary changes. Let us hope that the government will follow it up with a strong conviction. As citizens, we must compliment the efforts of the government in upgrading the education system in India.