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Importance of Public policy for Education

  • Published
    30th Mar, 2023
Context

Government policies are pivotal in deciding the future of a country. Good public policies spur economic growth and public welfare and improve ease of living for citizens.

  • Thus, policies in education sector are equivalently important and must take care of.

What is Public Policy?

  • Public policy is simply what government (any public official who influences or determines public policy, including school officials, city council members, county supervisors, etc.) does or does not do about a problem that comes before them for consideration and possible action.

Need of a better policy formation:

  • Public policy plays one of the most crucial roles in governance and drives the social and economic development.
  • Public policymaking can be described as a dynamic, intricate, and interactive system in which public problems are discovered and solved by developing new policies or reforming the older ones.

The National Education Policy:

  • In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a new education policy, the National Policy on Education (NPE), which was intended to prepare India for the 21st century.
  • According to the new policy, the 1968 policy goals had largely been achieved: more than 90 percent of the country’s rural population were within a kilometre of schooling facilities and most states had adopted a common education structure.
  • The prioritization of science and mathematics had also been effective.
  • However, change was required to increase financial and organizational support for the education system to tackle problems of access and quality.

The National Education Policy (NEP 2020):

The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29 July 2020, outlines the vision of the new education system of India. It replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986. Some of the features include;

  • Focus on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) & Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)
  • Curtailing dropouts and ensuring universal access at all levels of school education
  • Learning Should be Holistic, Integrated, Enjoyable, and Engaging
  • Teacher Empowerment
  • Equitable and Inclusive Education: Learning for All
  • Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education
  • Adoption of pedagogically sound teaching & learning practices
  • Adoption of technology in teaching, learning and assessments

Issues:

  • Lack of proper implementation: The improper implementation of public policies led to a strived and deprived population especially in case of Education as it impacts the children who are the future of the country’s development.
  • Inadequate public policy education: Most executive jobs in the organised sector are in government or government-owned agencies and require an understanding of public management.
    • There is little interest in public policy education in India. Only a small percentage of policymakers — civil service officers — are exposed to the formal study of public policy and public administration.  
  • Paucity of programmes: There are 3,182 institutions with an approved intake of 4.22 lakh in business management programmes, but only about 130 public, private and not-for-profit universities that offer public administration programmes and only 29 institutes that offer public policy programmes (All-India Council for Technical Education data).
  • Market oriented education: The reason why universities don’t have many programmes of public management is because there are few jobs available for people pursuing such courses. 

Way forward:

  • Making part of civil services examination: Public management should be one of the compulsory subjects for the UPSC civil service examination. The introduction of a public management paper can either be a substitute for one optional subject or an additional paper. 
  • Reforming training institutions: Existing training institutions of the government should have a larger component of public policy as part of induction training.
  • Specialised positions:  Government can create certain specialised positions of public policy analysts, to be picked up from the market directly, so that new job avenues for the graduates of public policy programmes can be created.
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