On September 11, our second webinar on the National Education Policy, 2020 was held with the participation of eminent experts such as Dr. John Kurrien, Director Emeritus of the Centre for Learning Resources, Pune; eminent journalist Dr Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, social worker Sanjay Nahar of the Sarhad Foundation and Dr. P. A. Inamdar, President, Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society who chaired the session.

Dr Kurrien presented his analysis of the gaps in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and some major recommendations which would help improve the educational futures of some of India’s main disadvantaged groups. He elaborated on the need for universal education from the ages of 3 – 18 years, the requirement for an increase in public investment in education, and most importantly the need to clearly indicate legal entitlements to education for all disadvantaged groups. These include not only the socially and economically backward groups, but also minorities, and tribal groups.

While Dr Aiyar stressed on the need for accountability to ensure that the goals were achieved, Mr Nahar gave his perspectives on trying to promote education among the disadvantaged sections of the population in the Kashmir valley. Dr Inamdar related his experiences of bringing education to the disadvantaged sections of the Muslim population, especially girls, at Azam Campus.

Questions and comments from the audience focused on the cultural attitudes towards education, and the need to encourage communities and focus community efforts towards improving quality of education of children from all groups.