Education policy is the term used to refer to the principles and policy decisions that influence education, including all the laws that govern the setting up and running of educational institutions. The scholarly study of education policy is known as educational policy analysis, and its aim is to answer questions regarding the purpose of education, objectives to be achieved, methods to achieve them, and the various tools necessary for the measurement of success and more importantly, failure. Education policy may be considered a subset of public and social policy.
Why is Education Policy Required?
Any policy, be it any field, puts down guidelines for the operation of a particular system, especially one that has a hierarchical structure. Education is no different. The problem with having no policy with respect to education is that decision-making becomes unreliable and sporadic. For example, consider a parent who wants to see the answer sheet of their child. If there is no school policy, it is left up to the discretion of the teacher as to whether or not the parent will be able to see it or not. Similarly, in the absence of a structure in the form of an educational policy, the entire system would be in a state of complete disarray.
Why Education Policy is Necessary
Here are some reasons why education policy is important for the education system:
Optimization of Cost
There should be some kind of regulatory system in place for the influx and expenditure of money in an educational institution. This can be done by setting a budget for the same as part of an elaborate education policy. The policy should make the distinction between costs that are inevitable and those which are not so that a proper plan can be formulated. The formulation process should begin only after the budget is set, though, because otherwise, this whole process would have been a waste of time and effort.
Every educational institution is obligated to follow the law of the land, and they will follow the law strictly only if there is strict legal action against non-compliance. Educational policy is important because it keeps all institutions within the framework of the law and forces them to abide by it, failing to do so resulting in penalties prescribed in the policy.
Safety in the Learning Environment
Educational policies also influence how safe students feel in their learning environment. The policy can mandate that all schools shall have to adhere to a certain standard when it comes to both physical safety as well as mental well-being of the students and teachers alike. This will ensure a safe environment for all.
Promote an Active Learning Culture
Since a school or university primarily focuses on academics, it is absolutely imperative that it should promote a learning culture through the staff. The policy needs to enable teachers to promote and provide an active culture around sharing knowledge through formal and informal means so that the students can grow their intellect together.
Equality and Diversity Inclusion
All schools should be unbiased in their treatment of students. Some schools might be religiously inclined while some others might have political affiliations, but this should never be made apparent to the students. Educational policies make sure that the learning environment in a particular institution is not tainted by political and religious connotations.
Policies are what keep institutions in check and offer guidelines for their effective operation. This applies to the same extent across the board, encompassing all aspects of education. Educational policy is instrumental in the educational framework of the country and updating it on a regular basis is vital to our progress as a nation.