India’s National Education Policy 2020 envisions a better education system for its students. The impact of the National Education Policy (NEP) reflects in several art activities, collectively known as Art Education.
Last month, the Union Cabinet under Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ introduced a new education policy. The NEP brings importance to India’s varied cultural heritage in terms of arts, crafts, traditions, and literature, and at the same time highlights the need to preserve this wealth for India’s economy and identity.
The analysis of the policy reveals the focus it lays on developing extracurricular activities and nurturing education of the arts. It recognizes the potential and power of teaching arts to students. In this rapidly changing world, there is a real need for inventive thinking, holistic exposure, and maintaining a thirst for learning throughout one’s life. An encompassing arts education fosters the development of such critical skills.
Here are some important provisions in the policy:
This feature helps students engage in arts during their school hours. It also involves local artists and communities and the recognition of their art. This furthermore provides students with hands-on experience and out-of-the-textbook learning.
2. Courses on Indian Indigenous Knowledge Systems
This provision of access to Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) gives relevance to rural life and their societal ways. Before the advent of modern scientific knowledge systems, it was these indigenous practices like Ayurveda which helped in health and agricultural practices. This course will also help in changing the attitude of students towards traditional Indian practices and not taking western science as gospel truth.
3. Student Tours under ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’
This program encourages students to choose tourist destinations around the country to study heritage and become culturally aware of the background, architecture, and current situation of historic sites in India.
4. Provide Vocational Education since the early ages
The policy states that the exposure to vocational education should be given to learners at a very young age. The under performance of the education system is attributed to the neglect placed on vocational education. It constitutes internships with indigenous artists and craftsmen to make students understand the dignity of labor.
5. Push Research and Innovative Thinking
Lastly, the NEP wants to endorse a curriculum where students engage in creative thinking for more inquiry-based and analysis based learning. The commitment for a National Research Foundation is also made to sponsor quality research on art and how to make it accessible to all.
Envisioning this policy and bring something new in the education space after 34 years was much needed. However, to implement this on the ground, the government will require strong partnerships with organizations that are locally connected.
Organizations like Rajasthan Studio have long been contributing to foster art forms in India. They can also provide aid in research and documentation for the new curriculum. They can organize trips for students, manage internships, and conduct workshops with experienced artists. It can help overlook the recruitment of artisans from nearby craft clusters for the ‘Artist-in-Residence’ program.
These companies provide local context and have been boosting the advocation of arts since their conception. If the government fails to collaborate with such institutions, this policy will never see the light of day. However, this pivotal reform was the first step in the long journey to transform formal education and we look forward to seeing how arts education makes a direct contribution in resolving the social and cultural challenges India faces today.
Follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Hemanshi Agarwal.