Nelson Mandela has rightly said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education plays a crucial role in developing the overall personality of an individual. In India, the right to education is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India. As per Article 21 A of the Indian Constitution, the state is obligated to provide free and compulsory education for all children in the age group of six to fourteen years. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the case of Mohini Jain and Unnikrishnan V/s State of Andhra Pradesh, held that “Right to education is the quintessence of the right to life under Article 21 and straightforwardly stream and interlinked with it, and life living with dignity can only be assured when there is a significant role of education.” The Indian government, to fulfill the dream of education for all, has on several occasions has come up with various educational policies.
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Education for All and UNESCO
Many international organizations work for education for all, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, Association for Childhood Education International, and many more. The United Nation’s Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a chief body that promotes education and meets the need of needy students.
A global movement called “Education For All” was launched by UNESCO to achieve free education for all needy students and adults by 2015. It focused on a comprehensive and humanistic vision of value training around the world. It had four important goals:-
Goal 1 - To promote early childhood care and education. It aims at improving the quality of education.
Goal 2 - To achieve gender equality and parity by 2015.
Goal 3 - Achieving universal primary education, particularly for girls, ethnic minorities, and marginalized children.
Goal 4 - Guaranteeing equivalent admittance to life skills and fundamental abilities for youth and adults.
Apart from the above-mentioned objectives, they are still working on various other goals for improving the condition of marginalized people through quality education.
Education Policies in India
The Indian government has always tried to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide education to all. Education falls in the concurrent list of Schedule 7 of the Constitution, which means both state and the central government are empowered to create educational policies to provide quality education to all its citizens. To improve the current education system in India, the Government of India came up with National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. It brought a few significant reforms at both school and college levels. The following are its impact on education in India:-
- It aims to achieve a 100% gross enrollment ratio in school education by 2030.
- A new higher education governing body will be established, i.e., the Higher Education Commission of India. It will work to improve and innovate India's teaching and learning system.
- The new education policy further aims at making all higher education institutions multidisciplinary by 2040. This means students can take up any course of their interest and based on skills.
- An undergraduate student will have multiple exit options. A college will provide a degree to students after completing one year of study. However, this is applicable only on diplomas and not on degree courses.
- Now schooling age will be 3 rather than 6. This will aid students to complete their schooling early and save their year from wastage.
Mahila Samakhya Programme
The main purpose of this government-backed program was to empower women through education. The main objectives are:
- Upgrading confidence and self-esteem of women;
- Building a positive picture of women by perceiving their commitment to the general public, country, and the economy;
- Creating the capacity to think fundamentally.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan 2.0
It is a centrally sponsored government scheme to enhance holistic development among the student of classes 1 to 12. It aims at providing inclusive, equitable, and affordable education for all. The scheme provides financial assistance to the students so that they can complete their basic education without any hassle. The scheme covers around 1.16 million schools. This is considered as one of the most effective schemes of the government to provide education to the maximum number of students.
How to Provide Education for All?
There are many ways in which the objective of education for all can be achieved. But the cooperation of citizens and private players is paramount for achieving this goal. The government alone cannot achieve this at a quick rate. Some of the effective suggestions are given below:-
Improving education system
We must achieve international standards in our education system. Presently, our education system is more theory-oriented rather than skill- or job-oriented.
Allocating more funds towards the education sector
As per Global Monitoring Report 2015, countries must ensure that 15-20 percent of national budgets are spent on education. This year our budget allocation towards the education sector is 63449cr.
Promote distance learning
It has been observed that many students fail to get a quality education because of a lack of resources to study in a school or college. Distance learning courses are not only affordable but are effective as these are recognized by various national and international institutions.
Bring more and more Education Policies
At last, the government should bring lots of educational policies to boost the education dispensation system in the country.
Education is undoubtedly a fundamental right provided expressly by our Constitution. Education for all can only be achieved if the government allocates more funds towards the education sector. It is a very well-known fact that education is vital for a person to get success in life. Education improves a person’s thinking process. Various government and non-governmental schemes, both at a national and international level, are trying their best to eradicate illiteracy and promote education at various levels. It is also paramount for the governments to study international educational policies to raise the level of education.
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