“My claim is that creativity is now as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status” – Sir Ken Robinson
The Indian education system focuses on academics rather than learning. The teaching method combined with social pressure and expectations strongly influenced the path chosen by students nationwide. The emphasis remains on ‘having a safety net’, while limiting individual talent and creativity.
However, there is some hope with the new education policy. After 34 years, the 1986 policy has been revised and could be a game-changer, provided educational institutions are creative in implementing the program.
The policy aims to ensure holistic education, cultivate ’21st century skills’ such as creativity, problem solving, digital literacy, and emphasizes multidisciplinary education where students can choose from a wide variety of materials. The emphasis will shift from rote learning to learning by application. The aim is to focus the education system on India, bring it up to global standards and make India a “global knowledge superpower”.
India is one of the richest countries in terms of cultural diversity and heritage, and NEP 2020 regards the promotion and preservation of Indian culture as a high priority for the identity and economy of the nation.
Educational institutions must offer elective courses and courses in music and the performing arts at different levels of education. Guidelines have been issued to develop curricula for students Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, and Kuchipudi, and vocal and instrumental Hindustani and Carnatic music. Regardless of the course, students can choose subjects under “arts”. There will be no strict division between science and arts, academics and professional subjects.
Starting with early childhood care and education, music, drama, puppets, etc. will be used for cultural / artistic development. India is a reservoir of culture and NEP 2020 stresses the importance of being aware of this diversity, for cultural enrichment and national integration.
Teachers are required to nurture the talents of students by providing them with materials, guidance and encouragement. Thematic clubs, such as chess circles, poetry circles, language circles, theater circles, debate circles, etc. will be supported at school level.
When it comes to music education, making music interactive is probably one of the best stepping stones for increasing music awareness. The Indian Music Experience, the only interactive music museum in India, is one example.