A strong new education policy is the need of the hour today. Considering how the world has changed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there appears to be a dire need for a policy that addresses core educational problems. Since remote education boomed in the last two years, it opened new avenues of learning. As a result, the necessity of an education policy that caters to the changing needs of students has been higher than ever.
An education policy is crucial to social progression and economic growth. It illustrates the practical, albeit gradual, implementation of a government’s vision to systematically bring all stakeholders on board for its developmental agenda. Therefore, education policies are formulated to streamline the process of teaching and learning to maintain a coherent flow of knowledge. They are also aimed at promoting inclusiveness to bring together all segments of society as the government takes a step towards its long-term objectives. However, like most things, this does not come without a set of challenges. Following is a list of key challenges a new education policy must address to be more progressive and inclusive.
An education policy must have a continually updated curriculum. It does not only prepares the students for economic challenges, but it also promotes in them the desire to stand against social ills such as racism. The curriculum should also take stock of emerging threats such as climate change. It would thus help in creating an inclusive, economically diligent, and environmentally-conscious society.
While this seems like a simple task, the key political differences between policymakers and influential segments of society often become major hurdles here. Therefore, a guided approach is required, and advanced degrees according to the field can help train future policymakers on the intrinsic details of an improved curriculum.
Inequality is perhaps the strongest challenge that most education policies face. This is due to the ever-growing gaps between access to infrastructure and financial resources among different segments of a populace. So, when one segment of the population is marginalized due to the lack of resources, it tends to be excluded from various educational programs.
A recent study found that colleges in the United States aggravated the situation by giving out financial incentives to high-achievers coming from low-income backgrounds, which contributed to a hike in tuition fees. As for kids, if the government succeeds in getting most of them to school and delivers promised healthy meals, some allied challenges could hinder progress on this front. One of these challenges is the social stigma that comes with children from poor households accessing welfare initiatives. As part of the policy, the government should run a campaign to normalize support programs to enable school children to access healthy meals without internalizing any sense of shame or worrying about peer pressure.
Moreover, in underdeveloped areas, the infrastructure needs to be improved, and the education policy must focus on bringing these areas on par with developed cities. This is crucial to the promotion of equal access to education since this will lead to the desired outcomes for the government.
While education can train a person’s mind, unless they are taught practical skills, they cannot serve as active members of the economy. Therefore, there is a need for a policy that creates a direct pathway between education and industries, creating a road map for the next generation of the workforce.
This linkage can help enhance industries while promoting innovation and subsequently leading to economic growth. While certain online schools offer educational programs that could help people learn new skills, they must be brought to the mainstream, and the acceptance of their credentials must be promoted.
The coronavirus pandemic has reinforced the significance of maintaining good mental health. So, policymakers must be considerate about the pressures of education amid pandemics and other catastrophes to enable students to perform up to the mark without stressing over their shortfalls or being concerned about far-fetched consequences.
One possible solution here is to provide free-of-cost counseling services to students to address their mental health concerns and to provide them support in difficult times. Also, it certainly helps people if they have someone to talk to without a fear of judgment to discuss with them any issues they are facing.
While this list does not cover all the challenges that a new education policy needs to address, it highlights some key hurdles preventing everyone from having equitable access to education. Through the resolution of these problems, the government can build a society prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. If the right decisions are taken now, they will have an impact on generations to come. The solutions proposed here would help create a framework for a strong education policy that is rooted in inclusiveness and mutual growth.