Post Mortem

Educational Policy and its Planning

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/24/2021 1:16:23 PM IST

 India has been successful in adapting to the ever changing global standards of education. But over the years we have not seen any major reforms in its educational system. However, in the midst of COVID pandemic when everything came to a halt, the Union Cabinet approved the New National Educational policy on 29th July 2020, which is the 3rd major revamp of framework of education after independence. After much deliberation and surveys done by the government and non-governmental organizations the NEP-2020 was formulated that will replace the National Policy of Education 1986.We have heard so much about the new National educational Policy (2020) and its vision however time will tell whether the policy is a success or not but, are you aware of the planning process that goes through in formulating the policy? 

Policy formulation is quite a critical phase of the policy process. The success or failure of a policy depends mainly upon the policy designs and policy formulation processes. It involves the process of identifying and crafting a set of policy to address a problem and narrow down the alternatives to arrive at a final policy decision. Thus, in the process of education policy formulation, plans for dealing with a problem is made in the context of education and the objectives, goals and priorities of education are framed and the ways and means of achieving the policy is also formulated.

Agencies involved in Policy formulation 

It is difficult for any policy formulator to make policy in isolation. Hence, various agencies are involved in formulation and development of a policy. In India, the agencies that play the role of education policy making are Cabinet, legislature, opposition political parties, pressure group and NGOs, media, Professional bodies; Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), University Grants Commission (UGC) and bureaucrats, and citizens.

Planning at various levels

The level of planning and process in formulating the policy are as follow:-

(a) Macro- level planning: Planning at macro level is the one performed at the national level. Educational and high education planning is performed at macro level in economics, social and cultural development planning.  It is aimed at achieving national success and high productivity in education. It is also aimed at ensuring that the quantity and quality of resource inputs produce high outputs at minimum cost. The component of macro level include policy formulation, financing of education, integration of education into the national development plan, education reforms, teacher education and administrative strategies for implementation of the plan. It requires a detailed budgetary   plan. Macro planning takes into account national perspective of education.  

(b) Micro- level planning: This is the planning at the state level. Micro- level planning of education is aimed at efficiency while macro- level planning at effectiveness. It deals with the problems linked to the access to the educational system, acquisition and maintenance of teaching facilities and equipments, attitude of parents, pupils and teachers to education. Other areas of concern in micro- level includes planning for recreational services, health and safety, guidance and counseling services, organization of school programmes and curriculum implementation. 

(c) Grass root level planning: This planning is prepared for a small community or village so that their needs or demands take place in the educational planning. Here, common man can participate actively in the planning process in the educational planning for his own community. Grass root level planning provides an opportunity to the local community, school staff, students and teachers to join hands in improving the institution.

Process of policy formulation

The process of policy formulation includes:

i. Analysis of the existing situation- Analysis of the existing situation is the first step of policy formulation process. Here the policy maker will critically analyze the exact existing situation of political, economic, demographic, cultural, and social issues .To analyze the existing situation the country background, Political context, Economic context, Education sector and Dynamics change are taken into consideration.

ii. Generation of policy option-When the present situation of the sector and its content is disturbed by a problem, a political decision or a reorganization scheme, then  new policies are generated. 

iii. Evaluation of policy option-Policy option can be evaluated if alternative scenarios are developed. If an implemented policy option is compared with the present situation then the imaginary situation would be created. The transition from the existing to the imaginary case is evaluated in terms of desirability, affordability and feasibility.

iv. Making the policy decision -After gathering all information, relevant to the decision and analyzed carefully, the final decision is taken so that a total optional policy might be designed and selected. For the proper implementation the policy framework must be unambiguous and clear. Decision making takes place when, maximum members of the committee express same opinion.

v. Planning of policy implementation -Policy implementation is the transformation of a policy into action. Policy decisions are taken with the consent of the people who will put the policy into operation.

vi. Policy impact assessment - It is the ability to evaluate which policy will have the most impact that is truly admirable or commendable. Policy impact assessment is formal, evidence-based procedures that access economical, social and environmental effect of the public policy. Many methods are there for the policy assessment like- scoping, aggregation, comparison of options, data presentation etc.

vii. Subsequent policy cycle - The process of policy design, planning, implementation, impact assessment and redesign are iterative. A policy process often begins from the beginning, anew, and one may duplicate much of the analysis, derivation of alternative options, evaluation and planning carried out earlier. It is a never ending process. Ideally, once implementation has been completed and policy outcomes are forthcoming, a policy impact assessment stage ensues, leading to a potentially new policy cycle. 

In conclusion, the success of a policy depends upon how the policy is made, planned and implemented. It has to emerge from the perceptions, active participation and wisdom of all those who are likely to be involved in its implementation. In India, the overall goals of the country are given in the Constitution and accordingly specific policies in education are formulated as and when required to achieve its stated goals. Educational policy planning is thus a series of untidy and overlapping episodes in which a variety of people and organizations with diversified perspectives are actively involved- technically and politically. It entails the processes through which issues are analyzed and policies are generated, implemented, assessed and redesigned. 

Class of M.Ed 3rd semester, State College of Teacher Education, Kohima

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