New Delhi [India], Aug 7 (ANI): Focus needs to be shifted from 'what to think' to 'how to think' and the National Education Policy (NEP) will enable this transition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday at a 'Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy'.
"Till now our focus was on 'what to think', the new NEP's focus is on 'how to think'. There is a flood of information in today's age. The need is the ability to accept which information and study that. NEP has stressed that inquiry-based, discussion-based and analysis-based thinking be encouraged," the Prime Minister said.
"Some people's questions are that its implementation will be a challenge. We have to together contribute to the implementation of NEP. Politically, I am completely committed to this cause and stand by you," he added.
The Prime Minister further said that NEP will be 21st century India's foundation and will propel India on the path of growth.
"NEP will be 21st century India's foundation. The kind of skills and education our youths need is the focus on NEP. To propel India on the growth path, empower the people of the country, NEP is dedicated to these goals," he said.
Prime Minister Modi lampooned the 'herd mentality' that prevailing under the previous education policies and stressed on the need for critical thinking for all-round development of students.
"India's students should study in a scientific way. In fast-changing times and situations, when the youth will study they will construct a stronger India. In the earlier system, innovative ways were not respected but it promoted herd mentality. There was a rush to create engineers, doctors and lawyers and no stress was laid on critical thinking. Till the moment our education does not have critical thinking and purpose, it will not be complete," he said.
The Prime Minister further said that today is Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's death anniversary. "He used to say that the best education is that which not only informs but harmonises our lives. NEP's major goal is associated with this thinking," he added.
The Prime Minister further said that education needs to propel people on a creative and commitment-driven life and the change in the education system from 102 to 5334 is a step towards that.
"The questions that we were faced with at the start was whether our education propels us on a creative and commitment-driven life. The second question is whether our education system empowers youth and society. The education system needed to be changed with changing times. We had to move from the 102 system to 5334 system," he said.
The Prime Minister also advocated the NEP for its provision for imparting education in mother tongue till class 5 saying that it will impart better understanding.
"We have to make our students' global citizens. We have to also take care that they should also be connected to their roots. NEP has been designed keeping these factors in mind. There is no doubt in the fact that teaching in the mother tongue yields better results. Keeping this factor in mind, imparting educationin mother tongue till class 5 has been proposed in NEP," he said.
The Prime Minister further stressed that there is a need to create a system with multiple exit option for students as it will lead to better results on the vocational front.
"Every student should get an opportunity to pursue his or her passion. On most occasions, when students go for doing jobs, they come to know that what they have studied does not count for much in employment. Sometimes students have to skip their education to pursue a job. Due to this reason, multiple exit options have been given to students under NEP. There is a need to prepare the youth for multiple professions as change is inevitable," Prime Minister Modi said.
"In any country's development, there is a need to accord dignity to every section of society. The thinking based on ridiculing people who work hard on the ground has to be given up," he added.
"India's capability of according solutions based on talent and technology is accepted by the world. This has been addressed in NEP. Technology has enabled us to reach the last student in society in an easy and cost-friendly way. There should be more focus on coding and research," he said.
PM Modi advocated greater autonomy for Higher Educational institutions that promote quality education.
"The Higher Education system needs to be empowered. There are two views on autonomy in our country. One view is that there should be governmental control on Higher Education centres. The second view is that there should be autonomy in education. Whichever institution works more towards quality education should be provided incentives. Before NEP, people have seen how our government has focused on giving autonomy to the institutions," he said.
"Former President and great scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam used to say that 'the purpose of education is to make good human beings with skill and expertise. Enlightened human beings can be created by good teachers'," he added.
The Prime Minister also lauded the role of teachers in the educational system saying that their role is integral in it.
"The teachers and professors are extremely important in the education system. NEP has taken care in establishing the dignity of teachers. There is a focus on teacher training. I believe when a teacher learns, a nation leads," he said.
"I request that there should be continuous webinars, discussions on NEP. The road map should be created for achieving the goals of NEP. NEP is not just a document but it is a resolve. To create India's present and future, NEP is a 'mahayagya'. I credit the team of Dr Kasturirangan and his team for creating the National Education Policy. It was a very tough task and has been achieved with their dedication," he added. (ANI)