Suggestions for the NEP based on a discussion involving 80 schools, organized by Inventure Academy

These are consolidated recommendations from students and faculty from about 80 schools in and around Bengaluru -
@InventureK12 team facilitated the group discussion & synthesized all the inputs into a document; arranged the inputs and feedback. We thank Inventure Academy for consolidating all these inputs in a document; and we also appreciate the hard work done by the teachers and students of the 80 schools involved, in enumerating so many critical points.

It is always great, to know first hand, what schools and their administrators, teachers, students and parents feel about various policies. 
We thank Ms. Nooraine Fazal of Inventure Academy, for forwarding us their draft of inputs in reponse to the New Education Policy Draft of 2019. 
We also thank Ms. Mary Whabi for helping us process this information, to upload on the website. 

All 80 schools deserves a special shout out for participating in a session like this, to make a comprehensive list of suggestions and inputs, to help mould a policy which will 
be critical in shaping future generations in India. 




OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICE: FEEDBACK ON THE DRAFT NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY (NEP) 2019

OF, FOR and BY the STUDENTS and TEACHERS of KARNATAKA


                                                                                                                                            Preamble & Guiding Principles


Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”

Rabindranath Tagore


Take to the path of dharma – the path of truth and justice. Don’t misuse your valour. Remain united. March forward in all humility, but fully awake to the situation you face, demanding your rights and firmness.”

Vallabhbhai Patel


WE, the children and teachers of Bengaluru, AFFIRM that:

  • EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO A HOLISTIC, MEANINGFUL QUALITY EDUCATION: which prepares the child for life in India and in a dynamic, globalised and interdependent world.

  • AN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION SYSTEM MUST RECOGNISE CHILDREN, TEACHERS, SCHOOL MANAGEMENT AND FOUNDERS AS PRIMARY STAKEHOLDERS: who spend at least about 220 days per year at school. Therefore their motivations, concerns and needs should underpin the essence of the NEP 2019.

  • EACH CHILD/TEACHER IS UNIQUE: While it is not viable or desirable to have individualised learning plans for every child, an enabling education system must cater to multiple intelligences, pace, style of teaching / learning, different needs, strengths, areas of improvement and aspiration.

  • THE FREEDOM AND AVAILABILITY OF CHOICE IS CRITICAL TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND KNOWLEDGE CREATION: Each individual should have the freedom to choose the education that best aligns or reflects their philosophy and approach to education - as teachers and students / parents. In addition to the draft NEP 2019 guiding goals of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, we believe it should include Freedom of Choice as a core goal and guiding principle.

  • EQUITABLE’ EDUCATION IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH TO EDUCATION: The proposals must strive for an equitable education aligned with the proposed vision instead of an equal one (as the detailed proposals seem to recommend). Thus the NEP must account for the difference in circumstances of a variety of students, rather than mandating a one size fits all approach for all.

  • ALIGNMENT BETWEEN PROPOSALS AND FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTATION IS CRITICAL: Proposals cannot be made in isolation or separate from ability to implement; therefore it is critical that the NEP 2019 take into consideration the feasibility of implementation, including availability of resources. It must be financially viable for all stakeholders and must be scalable within the time frame specified by the Draft NEP 2019. Otherwise, it will be a hollow promise.


These affirmations are based on the voices of children and teachers across almost 70 schools in Karnataka. They reflect our collective understanding of the experiences, perspectives, aspirations, concerns and needs of the people most directly impacted by the NEP, i.e. children and educators. Though each stakeholder group reflected and captured their observations separately, the issues, concerns and recommendations that emerged from both groups were surprisingly similar. In addition, it is worth noting that both groups, reflected on the effect of the NEP proposals on their own interests as well as those of other primary stakeholders. We were very heartened to see students in particular assess the potential impact of the NEP on themselves as well on their teachers and management.


Table of Contents



Preamble & Guiding Principles 1

Table of Contents 3

Executive Summary 4

Children’s Voices on Draft NEP 2019: Chapterwise Feedback 7

Vision Statement and Founding Principles 7

Chapter 1: Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation and Learning 7

Chapter 2: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy 7

Chapter 3: Reintegrating Dropouts and Ensuring Universal Access to Education 8

Chapter 4: Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools 8

Chapter 5: Teachers 11

Chapter 8: Regulation and Accreditation of School Education 12

Educators’ Voices on Draft NEP 2019 13

Vision and Founding Principles 13

Chapter 1: Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation and Learning 13

Chapter 2: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy 13

Chapter 4: Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools 14

Chapter 5: Teachers 15

Chapter 6: Equitable and Inclusive Education 16

Chapter 7: Efficient resourcing and effective governance through school complexes 16

Chapter 8: Regulation and Accreditation of School Education 16

Why and How Our Future Our Voice initiative was created 18

Our Inspiration for Our Future Our Voice 18

Participants at Our Future Our Voice 18

Flow of the day 19

Conclusion 21

Annexures 21



Executive Summary

The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 - released in May 2019 by PM Modi’s Government shortly after winning the national election - will, in the words of Dr K. Kasturirangan, Chairman of the Committee for the Draft NEP, “change the educational landscape” of India. It is aimed at “preparing our youth to meet the variety of present and future challenges”. “The Policy is founded on the guiding goals of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.”

The Draft National Education Policy of 2019 (Draft NEP 2019) is a long-awaited document for all. It envisions a society based on knowledge and principles of equity, and aims to provide a high quality education for all. 

We appreciate the Government’s efforts in developing the NEP and and the opportunity to share our feedback. While the policy document appears to be quite promising in terms of intent and some of the recommendations, there are several aspects of the policy which need to be reconsidered in light of the concerns and feedback of all stakeholders, and in particular the groups which will be most directly impacted by the NEP 2019 - the students and teachers / educators themselves.

Inventure Academy (a PreK-12 school based in Bangalore) in partnership with Karnataka ICSE Schools Association (KISA - 290 member schools), Associated Management of Primary & Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS - 3000 member schools), Management of Independent CBSE Schools Association Karnataka (MICSA - 105 member schools) and Management Association of ICSE & ISC Schools (MAS - 75 member schools) organised the Our Future Our Voice, a day long symposium at Bal Bhavan, Cubbon Park. The event was aimed at giving students and teachers - those most directly impacted by the National Education Policy - an opportunity to share their views and perspectives on the Draft NEP 2019. 460 students and 80 teachers from 70+ schools from various Boards of Education, participated in the symposium.

Key Findings of the Charter which reflects student and faculty responses include:

  • Students and teachers recognise the importance of being “India centred”, but strongly feel the need to be prepared for an interdependent global world;

  • Both students and teachers want to retain the freedom that students, parents, faculty and management have on the choice of vision and culture of the education institution, its leadership and education approach, they believe is best suited to them. Most students and teachers do not favour a common national curriculum created by a single government agency (at the Centre or State level). They want a choice of Boards of Education (not just Boards of Assessment), type and level of subjects, and learning materials. Failing which, in the words of a student group, “otherwise India will become like North Korea”;

  • Many expressed concerns regarding the impact of reducing curriculum content - whether this would adequately prepare them for college and beyond. Also, how viable is it to expect textbook suppliers to provide “quality textbooks at the cost of production”?

  • Disagreement with the three-language formula was evident, with students and teachers not thinking it is realistic for them to learn so many languages from the Foundation Years to Grade 12. They also want the freedom to choose how many and which languages they learn/teach. They overwhelmingly believed they should teach / learn English;

  • Students appreciated the ability to attempt Board Exams “on up to two occasions during any school year”. However, faculty and students were largely unanimous in their opposition to eight sets of board exams over four years for Grades 9 to 12;

  • Many like the emphasis of co curricular being given as much importance as academics;

  • Students and teachers overwhelmingly agreed that as primary stakeholders, school management / founders and teachers, and not the general public, should have a say in the way that schools are run. They expressed serious concerns about their desire to continue as teachers in the absence of this;

  • Everyone welcomed the emphasis on teacher education. Teachers welcomed their profession being acknowledged as one needing a one - four year degree, but had apprehensions on how everyone would be certified by the year 2030, as there is already a shortage of teachers and teacher education institutions. Further a B. Ed does not ensure that a teacher has the right philosophy or attitude for education.

  • Concerns about the feasibility / viability of implementation of the Policy due to shortage of teachers and funds, therefore making the policy a “hollow promise”;

We hope our charter is given the importance it deserves in formulating a purposeful and effective National Education Policy that reflects and includes the voices of the children and teachers of Karnataka. We look forward to an opportunity to meet with the Government and the Draft Committee to share our perspectives and findings in more detail, and participate in an ongoing dialogue.


Children’s Voices on Draft NEP 2019: Chapterwise Feedback

(Important to note that this has been written by the students, in their voice)


Vision Statement and Founding Principles

In the words of the Student Drafting Committee, “We believe that the vision statement in the Draft National Education Policy is too limiting and that we can have an education policy that focuses on an India centred education, while also educating Indians to be global citizens. The NEP strives to level the playing field in education across all backgrounds, ensuring equality and social justice. However, we are concerned that it will do so not just by increasing quality and standards in some areas but by decreasing it in others.”


Chapter 1: Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation and Learning

Things we strongly agree with:

  • One value we hold dear is the right of every child to a quality education, irrespective of their socio-economic background. This is shown as 90% of students in the Our Voice program are in favour of the extension of the RTE Act to include students of ages 3-18.

Our recommendations

  • The policy should aim not only to reduce inequality in education, but also within society itself. It ignores the fact that a child’s family background is a huge factor in his/her educational performance. Implementing this policy does not solve any of these other problems. The government should also take strides to tackle these problems as well.


Chapter 2: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

Things we strongly agree with:

  • Majority of students liked the proposal of a Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) of less than 30:1

Our recommendations

  • While the idea of a PTR of less than 30:1 is a step in the right direction, the students would prefer a PTR of at least 15:1, which is needed to implement the vision of the Draft NEP.

  • As a result of the deficit of teachers in India, the students would like to recommend the following solutions using government funding, among others, to incentivise teaching;

    • Higher salaries for teachers

    • Tax cuts on teachers' salaries

    • Subsidising/ providing scholarships for teachers through their education


Chapter 3: Reintegrating Dropouts and Ensuring Universal Access to Education

Our recommendations

  • Students have serious concerns regarding the protection of data in the proposed database system which aims to track out-of-school children. We believe the data should not be available to the general public and that it should be stored very safely. A similar policy to the EU data laws may be best.


Chapter 4: Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools

Things we strongly agree with:

  • 92% of students believe in placing equal importance on both academics and co-curricular activities and having learning assessments for the same.

  • A large number of students are in favour of studying critical issues and current affairs.

  • 94% of students agree with the proposition that the educational approach should be more holistic, integrated & flexible; build cognitive & soft skills, rather than emphasise rote learning; focus less on content & more on developing skills/competencies; learning should be discovery based, experiential, personalised and multidisciplinary.

  • Students strongly appreciate the ability to have multiple attempts at assessment (schools must provide at least 2 attempts to students willing to improve), but most not in favour of so many Board Exams (8 sets of exams across Grades 9 to 12).

  • Over 80% are also in favour of the proposals on special needs, such as the reduction of PTR in special needs schools to less than 25:1.


Our recommendations:

Curriculum

  • We believe that "One Nation - One Curriculum" could give rise to the following problems and thus suggest that it should not be implemented:

    • One Committee will outline what every child in the country learns. Centralising Education to a single body could be dangerous and unworkable.

    • Doesn’t allow for creativity and diversity in teaching and learning methods. Doesn’t cater to every child’s personal learning needs and aspirations.

    • We believe that parents, students and teachers should be allowed to choose what and how they want to learn and to keep what the government mandates / dictates to a minimum

    • The NEP should be implemented over a period of time, first at a smaller scale, reviewed periodically, and then scaled up eventually.

  • Students taking liberal arts subjects should undergo skill based testing over content based testing.

    • This develops critical thinking and an application based approach to learning whereas a system based primarily on memorization and recollection does not develop these skills which are essential for success in any field.

Assessments

  • Students should not have to take two sets of board exams per year for four years as this will:

    • Create more stress.

    • It will hamper students who wish to pursue “extracurriculars” as a profession, because students will constantly have to be preparing for board exams.

    • Give way to complacency as students may gain too much comfort from the fact that they will be given multiple attempts at board exams.

    • So we suggest that: With more investment in online testing / technology and a logistically simple retake system, a testing system that doesn’t impede the students ability to pursue other activities can be put in place.


Learning Materials

  • Students believe that textbooks should inculcate internationalism along with local content and flavour in order to expose students to progress in modern society and to prepare them for a global world:

    • Furthermore, students expressed their desire to learn skills they will need to succeed in a global world rather than learning the content of a textbook, which provides a limited viewpoint of the world based on what the author, publisher or the government believes is right or what we students should learn.

  • Private entities should still be allowed to produce textbooks at more than the cost price:

    • The resources available for learning should not be limited.

    • Governments should subsidize these textbooks rather than restrict the right of publishers in order to make them more easily available and so the publishing houses can make a living.

  • Students believe that teachers’ choice of learning material should not be limited to NCERT textbooks. Our teachers know best what we need to learn and how we learn.

  • Students expressed concerns that reducing curriculum content would affect their level of preparedness for the future (admission and performance in college and careers). Hence, we believe there should be an option to take subjects at higher levels of specialization.


Language Policy

  • Majority of students want a 2 language system from grades 9-12 rather than a 3 language system.

  • English should be a compulsory language where possible and stakeholders should have the freedom of choice.

  • Foreign languages should be offered before grade 9 and from at least grade 6.

  • Students would like to emphasize language acquisition skills rather than language learning skills.

  • Approximately 60% of students are in favour of a course on the ‘Languages of India’ but would prefer for it to be compulsory for one year rather than two.

  • As much as 60% of students agreed that Classical languages should not be compulsory and prefer it to be an optional elective.

  • Students don’t believe that the language of instruction should be limited to the local language/mother tongue as this isn’t feasible in urban cities with immigrant populations, such as Bengaluru.

  • Students also feel that if the curriculum is decided by the government, the teacher should not be held solely responsible if a student fails to learn.



Chapter 5: Teachers


Our recommendations

  • 70% of students are in favour of the new B.Ed requirement for teachers, provided this is a reliable way to ensure that teachers learn the best skills and techniques to teach. However, this does pose a problem as the majority of teachers currently teaching are doing so without a B.Ed degree. We suggest a number of ways the government can improve this policy:

    • The B.Ed program should be updated, made more accessible, relevant and cheaper

    • There should be numerous ways for teachers to prove their capabilities without having to stop teaching and earning as they too may have families to support. They could do this either through part time or online programs or other teacher training programs.

    • Teacher training programs should not focus just on theory and technique but on fostering the right temperament and attitude.

  • The data on teachers should not be available to the general public, as this could risk their safety.

  • Teachers’ salaries for public schools should be decided by the School Management Committee and the State government.

  • Probation for teachers should be cut down from three years to one year.

  • Private schools should be given the freedom to decide what their teachers’ salaries are (ensuring that teachers are well paid). This way they can incentivise hard work and creative teaching methods outside of what the government proposes.

  • Schools should employ separate administrative staff - to decrease the workload on teachers, and administrative work should be kept separate. This can be completed by others who work in their respective fields, and who are not engaged in teaching.


Chapter 8: Regulation and Accreditation of School Education

Independence of schools from SMCs and the general public:

We feel that the private schools shouldn’t have to operate under the SMCs because:

  • Private individuals will be less incentivised to start an institution if its management will rest in the SMC’s control instead of theirs.

  • Furthermore, it is possible that the SMCs may be less experienced or knowledgable than the educators and management that have been trained in this field.


Educators’ Voices on Draft NEP 2019


Vision and Founding Principles

Our students need to fit into a global interconnected world. Learning about their history and culture is important, but we should also equip them to deal with the global stage.”

The vision should include a global approach / perspective.



Chapter 1: Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation and Learning

Points we strongly agree with:

  • We strongly believe that early childhood education lays the foundation for educational reform and are appreciative of the fact that ECCE is now under the education framework and the RTE has been extended downwards to the age of three.

  • Oversight of ECCE by the MHRD.


Our recommendations:

  • Institute a public private partnership to help anganwadis benefit from the pedagogy and resources available to private preschools.


Chapter 2: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy


Points we strongly agree with:

  • Schooling in the early years does not lay enough curricular emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy and, in general, on the reading, writing, speaking of languages and mathematical ideas and thinking.

  • Teacher capacity also plays a central role in the attainment of foundational skills.



Chapter 4: Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools

Points we strongly agree with:

  • Teachers appreciated the balanced curriculum with curricular and co curricular subjects being given equal emphasis.

  • Teachers also liked the spiraling curriculum, as opposed to the previous, more linear one.

  • The restructuring and expansion to include early childhood and grades 11 and 12 in the NEP is appreciated.


Our recommendations:

Curriculum

  • The schools should have flexibility to choose curriculum and books.

  • Restricting books and content to NCERT only will curb creativity and the freedom of schools to choose the best available content in the market. Will also limit teachers ability to teach learners based on each child’s unique needs & abilities. Teacher autonomy is critical for us to be motivated and do the best by each child.

  • English should be a compulsory language to enable children to compete at a global level.

  • Flexibility and variety of subject choice is good but how will schools afford staff & space for it.

  • Reduction of the content to core only may lead to future generations being generalists and not being prepared for further studies or make informed decisions about their future.

  • Spiralling curriculum sounds promising, but in senior grades if children are doing subjects only for one semester how would the curriculum grow and spiral/progress.


Assessments

  • Teachers felt the pressure would increase on students if they had four continuous years of ‘board’ exams, twice a year.

  • Formative assessments are a good step but will need a mindset change as students and parents consider any assessment stressful.

  • Board exam subjects listed seem low on Science and Math: will this lead to children moving away from those subjects? We need more scientists and innovators in India.

  • Teachers were unhappy with testing for 4 to 5 languages at board level especially with so many children who migrate across the country.


Language

  • Home language as a medium of instruction is difficult to execute with so many different languages, particularly in urban cities.

  • Teachers not native to Karnataka or fluent in Kannada felt at a disadvantage at the suggestions to teach in a bilingual manner.

  • Some teachers felt knowledge of the local languages will help children.

  • Three languages from the Foundational years is too much pressure on the young children, one language as the medium of instruction with another language introduced at grade 1 would be better. The third language can be introduced at grade 4.

  • Teachers were unsure of how schools would find so many teachers for the Classical or other languages (we are experiencing a severe crunch for even Sanskrit & Kannada teachers).

  • Another concern is that we will not have enough time to teach other subjects or life skills with so much emphasis on languages.



Chapter 5: Teachers


Points we strongly agree with:

  • Teachers appreciated the fact that the profession was being given its due and there was a requirement to be qualified in education to teach.


Our recommendations:

  • Requiring all teachers to be B.Ed certified by 2030, with the B.Ed being a 4 year or 2 year full time program means that many would have to take a break from their jobs to get certified. This did not seem practical or feasible and many teachers felt that it would add to the problem of insufficient teachers available across schools & will impact their earnings.

  • A 3 year probation seems inordinately long and will not attract teachers to the profession.

  • The pay scales and grades should not apply to private and unaided schools. We do not want a cap in our earnings.

  • CPD is a good initiative but clarity is required on what comes under the purview of CPD.

  • SMC should not have significant decision making powers in the appraisal of teachers since parents, civil society etc may not have the necessary qualifications/ abilities/ first hand knowledge to be unbiased during the appraisals. We do not believe that private unaided schools should be governed by SMCs.



Chapter 6: Equitable and Inclusive Education


Points we strongly agree with:

  • Inclusive education being a part of teacher preparation.

  • PTR in schools with URG’s being at least 1:25 (we think it should ideally be lower).

  • School environments to have concerted set of actions to sensitise learners to diverse cultures, backgrounds and people with disabilities.


Chapter 7: Efficient resourcing and effective governance through school complexes


Recommendations

  • SMC’s should not be applicable to Private and Unaided schools. Private school teachers are accountable to parents and the PTA already, being accountable to civil society / media and others not involved with the day to day operations of a school is unfair and could be a threat to security from local vested interests.

  • It will act as a deterrent to people choosing teaching as a profession.


Chapter 8: Regulation and Accreditation of School Education


Points we strongly agree with:

  • Regulation to empower schools.

  • Separation of functions of policy making, regulation and academic standards is a good move.

  • Public Government schools being held to the same standards as private schools.


Recommendations

  • Public disclosure of all information: Clarity on what details of teachers are being shared. Any sharing needs to be mindful of the privacy of the teachers.




Why and How Our Future Our Voice initiative was created


Our Inspiration for Our Future Our Voice


The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 - released in May 2019 by PM Modi’s Government - is aimed at “preparing our youth to meet the variety of present and future challenges”. We were happy to see the Government coming up with a new NEP given the changes that have taken / taking place in the world since the last one was released. The drafting committee headed up by Dr Kasturirangan, consulted a number of Ministries, Institutions, Associations, Organisations and individuals. But as per Appendix VII of the Draft NEP, it does not appear to have taken into consideration voices and opinions of the people most directly impacted by the policy - students and teachers / educators.


Inspired by our success with Our Safety, Our Voice1 which resulted in the Government of Karnataka incorporating perspectives on child safety from over 1000 students from diverse schools & socio-economic backgrounds in the creation of the Karnataka Child Safety & Protection Law in 2018, we decided to create a similar initiative - Our Future, Our Voice, aimed at giving students and teachers an opportunity to share their views and perspectives on the Draft NEP 2019.


Participants at Our Future Our Voice


460 students and 80 teachers from almost 70 schools from various Boards of Education, participated in the symposium. The schools included Delhi Public School East, Bangalore, Delhi Public School North, Bangalore, Delhi Public School South, Bangalore, Inventure Academy, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Appollo National Public School, Auden Public School, BNM Public School, Bunts Sangha R.N.S Vidyaniketan, Cambridge Public School, Christ School, Citizens English School, Elite Public School, Gem International Residential School Alipur, Gopalan National School, Pratham International School, Ryan International School, Shishu Griha Montessori & High School, Shree Mahaveer Jain Vidyalaya, Shrunga Vidyalaya, Shri Krishna International School, St. Anthony’s Public School, St. Charles High School, St. Dominic’s School (ICSE), St. Joseph’s Boys High School, St. Mary’s Convent School, St. Michael’s High School, St. Norberth School, St. Patrick’s Academy, St. Philomena’s Public School, Tapovan School, The Paradise Residential School, The Sudarshan Vidya Mandir ICSE Academy, United International School, Vidya Niketan Public School, Vidya Saudha Public School, Little Flower Public School, Gopalan Twinkler’s School, Holy Spirits School, Indian Public School, Insight Academy, KALS, Lady Vailankanni English School, Mitra Academy, Nazareth School, New Baldwin International School, New Horizon Public School, Prakriya Green Wisdom School, and St. Mary’s Convent School, We also had representatives from NGOs such as Whitefield Ready and Teach for India, participate in the event.


Flow of the day

Presenters included:

  • Divya Balagopal, Education Law Specialist - salient points of the Draft NEP 2019 with a focus on areas that impact students & teachers the most

  • Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, KAMS - inclusive education & teachers

  • Nooraine Fazal, Co-Founder & Managing Trustee, Inventure Academy - assessing the NEP on the desirability of the draft vision, its suitability in terms of meeting the aspirations and needs of the various stakeholders and the feasibility / viability of its implementation

  • Panel discussion moderated by Nooraine Fazal - students and teachers perspectives on the NEP. Panelists included Radhika Surendran - Founding Faculty & Lead Curriculum Developer for Theme Based Learning, Inventure Academy, Kabir Madan - Inventure alumnus & Student, Shiv Nadar, Sumedha Godkhindi - Whitefield Ready lead, Rajan Thomas Choondal - Teach for India Fellow, Anitha Brijesh - Vice Principal of DPS (Bangalore South) and Gayethri Devi - Secretary of KISA & Principal, Little Flower Public School.


Students and teachers then had breakout sessions facilitated by the Our Voice Committee comprising of Inventure students and faculty to discuss what they liked about the NEP, their concerns, clarifications they would like and recommendations for the Government. Each group looked at alternatives, including resolutions, petitions, and social media posts. They then presented their top concerns/recommendations for the Government to the entire audience.


Based on the feedback we received at the Our Future, Our Voice workshop, we have produced this Charter to communicate Our (children and teachers’) Voices. It represents our shared-experience, suggested solutions, and our aspirations for our individual and collective future. We trust our voices will be heard and this Charter acted on by the Government. We would be delighted to engage in a dialogue with the HRD Ministry about the proposed education policy.



Conclusion

The Karnataka Government and the Learning Community benefited tremendously from incorporating feedback from students in creating the Child Protection Policy for Karnataka. We welcome an opportunity to contribute to the creation of the NEP. We would be delighted to engage in a constructive dialogue with the HRD Ministry to ensure that our futures’ voices are similarly heard for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.


Note: This document has been drafted by a Charter Committee consisting of students, alumni and faculty from Inventure Academy, and is based on the discussions and surveys we conducted at the NEP 2019 workshop. We would like to place on record a sincere thank you to all the schools, NGOs and to the heads of KISA, KAMS, MICSA and MAS, and Divya Balagopal for participating at the Our Future, Our Voice event. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn and contribute to the future of children across India.



Annexures

Annexure A - Our Future Our Voice in Pictures

Annexure B - Media Coverage on Our Future Our Voice




1. Our Safety Our Voice was organised by Inventure Academy in November 2014 in partnership with the UNICEF, ENFOLD (NGO), MLP (law firm) & Feedback Consulting (market research firm). Bengaluru at the time was awash with policies on how schools can be made safe for children. However, students’ views had largely not been taken into consideration. This event was organized to provide a platform for children of varied ages, and backgrounds to voice their feelings and opinions on personal safety and how different stakeholders can help to ensure all children are safe everywhere. This helped shape the Karnataka Child Safety & Protection Law implemented in January 2018. “Our Safety, Our Voice”, brought together over 1100 children aged 8 – 18 years. In addition to group discussions, we also conducted a survey of 1000 children, across 18 educational institutions and NGOs. The population sample was carefully chosen to remove any demographic, socio-economic, culture and gender biases. For more on this please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92_WOeVdMj4


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