[Model Answer QP2020 GS4 Ethics]“Education is not an injunction, it is an effective and pervasive tool for all round development of an individual and social transformation”. Examine the New Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) in light of the above statement.

Mahatma Gandhi said “Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself”, it is the greatest gift to humanity to attain knowledge and evolve with time.
Education and individual development

Education is an empowering process that enhances one’s cognitive abilities, critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence. It promotes self-awareness, empathy, moral reasoning, and social skills, all of which contribute to the holistic development of an individual.

Moreover, it fosters a sense of self-efficacy, enabling individuals to make informed decisions, solve problems, and contribute productively to their communities.
Education and Social transformation

Education can break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequalities, and promote social mobility.

Education is instrumental in nurturing responsible citizens who value democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, contributing to a more peaceful and just society.
The New Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) for all round development of an individual:

1. Recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student, by sensitizing teachers as well as parents to promote each student’s holistic development in both academic and non-academic spheres.
2. According the highest priority to achieving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all students by Grade 3.
3. Flexibility, so that learners have the ability to choose their learning trajectories and programmes, and thereby choose their own paths in life according to their talents and interests.
4. No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. in order to eliminate harmful hierarchies among, and silos between different areas of learning.
5. Emphasis on conceptual understanding rather than rote learning and learning-for exams.
6. Creativity and critical thinking to encourage logical decision-making and innovation.
The New Education Policy, 2020 (NEP, 2020) for social transformation:

1. Promoting multilingualism and the power of language in teaching and learning.
2. Respect for diversity and respect for the local context in all curriculum, pedagogy, and policy.
3. Full equity and inclusion as the cornerstone of all educational decisions to ensure that all students are able to thrive in the education system.
4. Synergy in curriculum across all levels of education from early childhood care and education to school education to higher education.
5. Teachers and faculty as the heart of the learning process – their recruitment, continuous professional development, positive working environments and service conditions.
6. Multidisciplinary and a holistic education across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and sports for a multidisciplinary world in order to ensure the unity and integrity of all knowledge.
7. Extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for Divyang students, and educational planning and management.
Education Policy lays particular emphasis on the development of the creative potential of each individual. It is based on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive capacities both the ‘foundational capacities ’of  literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ cognitive capacities, such as critical thinking and problem solving – but also social, ethical, and emotional capacities and dispositions.

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