Liberal arts education is a necessity for greater opportunity and it will require careful planning and significant investments.
It is only in the recent years that India is shifting its perspectives and realising the importance of a student’s holistic growth. It is now reducing its focus on only being an expert in one field. The NEP 2020 aims to universalise and de-compartmentalise Indian education.
It now focuses on expanding learning following the liberal arts doctrine. Therefore, technical universities must also include courses in humanities and social sciences. Moreover, institutions that offer education in humanities must integrate their curriculum with science and management courses.
A student of the liberal arts is allowed to pursue higher education in any field of their choice. They are also allowed to work in areas such as entrepreneurship, technology, research, financial services, public policy and economics, journalism, environment, etc. Currently, a liberal arts education has become more relevant.
Liberal Arts also equips students with essential life skills. They also have a number of alternatives for the future as they possess essential soft skills that offer lifetime value. They also acquire practical understanding of business through experiential learning.
The approach of liberal arts is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. They integrate different areas of study and expands the learning of students across multiple disciplines. This increases the ability of students to understand issues from varied perspectives.
Thus, students can expand their holistic and intellectual grounding. Students acquire the skill of critical thinking and fact-based problem-solving and are better prepared to handle emerging challenges. They also become more aware of their social responsibilities.
How can learning be made seamless?
NEP 2020 will stress public universities to offer a liberal education. The academic community must not simply prepare the students for their first job, but also for second, third and future jobs. This can happen only when teachers are trained in the right direction. Thus, there will be a greater requirement of finances for teachers’ training along with creating the required infrastructure.
Trasformation is needed in the current educational system. Education must be divided into numerous streams that lead to specialisations at a very young age. Also, little consideration must be given to laying the core skills.
The affiliation system must be gradually phased out after which they must be combined together to form larger educational entities. The problem arises only due to the fragmented nature of Indian higher education system. As the new changes promote a multidisciplinary educational environment, STEM fields can cohabit with the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Democratising liberal education
To make liberal education available to everyone, careful planning and significant investments are required. For India to develop into a wealthy nation and offer a good life to all of its citizens, NEP 2020 must be accepted. The next generation of leaders can be dynamically shaped through liberal education.
Liberal arts education is a good development as students want it and the market needs it. Moreover, the society values such people for being sensitive and the country needs them as important participants in democracy who would be able to boost future leadership.
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