India celebrates December 12 as "National Youth Day" in honor of Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary. This day is very significant to the youth of India.
Any country's youth is seen as its future powerhouse. We can experience huge progress and prosperity if we use this power positively. How can this power be successfully utilized and put into practice for the benefit of the country? The answer is through 'Education.'
By education, we mean quality education. It can provide students with the background they need to become logical, open-minded, self-respecting, reliable, and patriotic individuals. And to honor National Youth Day, the NEP centers around Swamy Vivekananda's ideas on education. But how does the NEP honors National Youth Day? Let's have a look!
Significance of National Youth Day
To honor one of the greatest philosophers and spiritual leaders, Swami Vivekananda, his birth date is observed as National Youth Day. This day highlights how young people can live in the modern world while preserving their beliefs.
National Youth Day is celebrated to honor Swamiji Vivekananda's beliefs and ideas, who had a great degree of faith in youth. Vivekananda always focused on the importance of educating the next generation and urged them to maintain a positive view of life.
The Indian government declared January 12 to be National Youth Day in 1984 to recognize his efforts for the nation. The idea was to teach young people, particularly students, Vivekananda's ideology and beliefs. The day is meant to encourage rational thought in young minds.
Every year, processions, speeches, music, youth conventions, seminars, yoga poses, presentations, and competitions are held throughout India's schools and colleges to commemorate the day.
How does NEP honor National Youth Day?
Implementing National Education Policy by the national government is a victory for Swami Vivekananda's vision of education. The new educational policy focuses more on personal development by providing more course structure flexibility.
Education is the single most important thing. It allows young individuals to gain the knowledge and abilities they require to grab all opportunities throughout their life. With the right education, youth can positively impact society.
National Youth Day envisions more freedom to make choices depending on changing scenarios. And this is ensured by the new National Educational Policy. Youth need an education policy that goes beyond academic knowledge and inspires important life and career skills. This also fosters a person's complete development and engages them in societal beliefs.
According to the NEP, a quality education system will eventually "allow all kids to take ownership of their lives through fair access". To raise the standard and quality of education, more recommendations are made in the National Education Policy 2020.
The NEP ensures that all students have access to education until grade 12. It also alters the curriculum and pedagogy, promotes the value of technology in the classroom, and reevaluates vocational education. It has measures for lifelong learning, adult literacy, and the readmission of dropouts and unenrolled youth (15 to 18 years old).
How is NEP helping to create future-ready youth?
To discard "habitual" and "clerical" education and adopt a more structured, scientific learning environment, the current education needs a change. The NEP has opened the door for this behavioral change.
Embracing experimental learning
The obsolete 10+2 framework at the school level for learners from ages 3 to 18, has been replaced by the new pedagogical structure of 5+3+3+4. This new framework covers four levels of learning: foundational, preparatory, middle, and secondary. The NEP has replaced rote learning with a new outcome-driven learning.
The NEP has introduced experiential learning. This includes hands-on learning, arts integration, sports integration, and story-based pedagogy. It allows the study of connections between topics and the discovery of analogies, freeing India's educational system from one-dimensional, rigid, and fixed subject-based understanding.
Building cognitive abilities
The streams of the arts, sciences, and commerce will not be strictly separated under the NEP. It will boost students' analytical and cognitive abilities. Likewise, there won't be a clear distinction between the academic and professional streams, between the arts and sciences, and between curricular and extracurricular activities.
Giving young people the best chance to make educated decisions in light of their career goals and the transforming job market will encourage them to continue learning throughout their lives.
Upskilling the youth
Students can accrue credits for multiple courses and then add those credits to their academic bank using the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) system. This has been brought by the NEP to facilitate lifelong learning.
It will enhance academic mobility for students and get them ready for Industry 5.0. India has the largest youth population in the world. Thus, it needs to give its youth relevant resources and hands-on training if it wants to meet its $5 trillion economic target.
Breaking the stigma around vocational streams
The NEP highlights the importance of vocational education. It seeks to introduce at least 50% of students to skill-based learning by 2050. It will also offer them the necessary training via hands-on experience as a part of secondary and higher education. If the nation wants to flourish and eliminate the social stigma that has long been connected to vocational routes, it needs a change in mindset and the NEP has invited the change.
As Swami Vivekananda stated, ’’this is the time to decide your future while you possess the energy of youth, not when you are worn out and jaded, but with the freshness and vigor of youth." The NEP encourages us to acknowledge the positive impact that young people can have. This also empowers us to use their ideas judiciously for the good of our nation.
National Youth Day will truly be honored when we can fuel our potential by completely reforming the educational system. We need to rethink how higher education should be viewed and obtained. As we complete 38 years of National Youth Day and prepare ourselves for the next 25, we need to make education a part of the socioeconomic growth process.
Being a youth icon requires the nation's empowerment and development and the NEP fosters it through high-quality education.
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Suggested Read: NEP 2020 - A Comprehensive Guide