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NEP 2020 National Education Policy India > Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
Adult Education in NEP 2020 for New National Education Policy in India
Chapter 21. Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
21.1. The opportunity to attain foundational literacy, obtain an education, and pursue a livelihood must be viewed as basic rights of every citizen. Literacy and basic education open up whole new worlds of personal, civic, economic, and lifelong-learning opportunities for individuals that enable them to progress personally and professionally. At the level of society and the nation, literacy and basic education are powerful force multipliers which greatly enhance the success of all other developmental efforts. Worldwide data on nations indicate extremely high correlations between literacy rates and per capita GDP.
21.2. Meanwhile, being a non-literate member of a community, has innumerable disadvantages, including the inability to: carry out basic financial transactions; compare the quality/quantity of goods purchased against the price charged; fill out forms to apply for jobs, loans, services, etc.; comprehend public circulars and articles in the news media; use conventional and electronic mail to communicate and conduct business; make use of the internet and other technology to improve one’s life and profession; comprehend directions and safety directives on the street, on medicines, etc.; help children with their education; be aware of one ’s basic rights and responsibilities as a citizen of India; appreciate works of literature; and pursue employment in medium or high-productivity sectors that require literacy. The abilities listed here are an illustrative list of outcomes to be achieved through adoption of innovative measures for Adult Education.
21.3. Extensive field studies and analyses, both in India and across the world, clearly demonstrate that volunteerism and community involvement and mobilization are key success factors of adult literacy programmes, in conjunction with political will, organizational structure, proper planning, adequate financial support, and high-quality capacity building of educators and volunteers. Successful literacy programmes result not only in the growth of literacy among adults, but also result in increased demand for education for all children in the community, as well as greater community contribution to positive social change. The National Literacy Mission, when it was launched in 1988, was largely based on the voluntary involvement and support of the people, and resulted in significant increases in national literacy during the period of 1991–2011, including among women, and also initiated dialogue and discussions on pertinent social issues of the day.
21.4. Strong and innovative government initiatives for adult education - in particular, to facilitate community involvement and the smooth and beneficial integration of technology - will be affected as soon as possible to expedite this all-important aim of achieving 100% literacy.
21.5. First, an outstanding adult education curriculum framework will be developed by a new and
well-supported constituent body of the NCERT that is dedicated to adult education, so as to develop
synergy with and build upon NCERT’s existing expertise in establishing outstanding curricula for
literacy, numeracy, basic education, vocational skills, and beyond. The curriculum framework for
adult education will include at least five types of programmes, each with clearly defined outcomes:
21.6. Second, suitable infrastructure will be ensured so that all interested adults will have access to adult education and lifelong learning. A key initiative in this direction will be to use schools/ school complexes after school hours and on weekends and public library spaces for adult education courses which will be ICT-equipped when possible and for other community engagement and enrichment activities. The sharing of infrastructure for school, higher, adult, and vocational education, and for other community and volunteer activities, will be critical for ensuring efficient use of both physical and human resources as well as for creating synergy among these five types of education and beyond. For these reasons, Adult Education Centres (AECs) could also be included within other public institutions such as HEIs, vocational training centres, etc.
21.7. Third, the instructors/educators will be required to deliver the curriculum framework to mature learners for all five types of adult education as described in the Adult Education Curriculum Framework. These instructors will be trained by the National, State, and district level resource support institutions to organize and lead learning activities at Adult Education Centres, as well as coordinate with volunteer instructors. Qualified community members including from HEIs as part of each HEI’s mission to engage with their local communities will be encouraged and welcomed to take a short training course and volunteer, as adult literacy instructors, or to serve as one-on-one volunteer tutors, and will be recognized for their critical service to the nation. States will also work with NGOs and other community organizations to enhance efforts towards literacy and adult education.
21.8. Fourth, all efforts will be undertaken to ensure the participation of community members in adult education. Social workers/counsellors travelling through their communities to track and ensure participation of non-enrolled students and dropouts will also be requested, during their travels, to gather data of parents, adolescents, and others interested in adult education opportunities both as learners and as teachers/tutors. The social workers/counsellors will then connect them with local Adult Education Centres (AECs). Opportunities for adult education will also be widely publicized, through advertisements and announcements and through events and initiatives of NGOs and other local organizations.
21.9. Fifth, improving the availability and accessibility of books is essential to inculcating the habit of reading within our communities and educational institutions. This Policy recommends that all communities and educational institutions - schools, colleges, universities and public libraries - will be strengthened and modernized to ensure an adequate supply of books that cater to the needs and interests of all students, including persons with disabilities and other differently-abled persons. The Central and State governments will take steps to ensure that books are made accessible and affordable to all across the country including socio-economically disadvantaged areas as well as those living in rural and remote areas. Both public and private sector agencies/institutions will devise strategies to improve the quality and attractiveness of books published in all Indian languages. Steps will be taken to enhance online accessibility of library books and further broad basing of digital libraries. For ensuring vibrant libraries in communities and educational institutions, it will be imperative to make available adequate library staff and also devise appropriate career pathways and CPD for them. Other steps will include strengthening all existing libraries, setting up rural libraries and reading rooms in disadvantaged regions, making widely available reading material in Indian languages, opening children’s libraries and mobile libraries, establishing social book clubs across India and across subjects, and fostering greater collaborations between education institutions and libraries.
21.10. Finally, technology will be leveraged to strengthen and even undertake the above initiatives. Quality technology-based options for adult learning such as apps, online courses/modules, satellitebased TV channels, online books, and ICT-equipped libraries and Adult Education Centres, etc. will be developed, through government and philanthropic initiatives as well as through crowd sourcing and competitions. In many cases, quality adult education could thereby be conducted in an online or blended mode.
( Source : PDF of NEP 2020 New National Education Policy 2020 at Ministry of Education India website.)
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