The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the United Nations in the year 2015, with the mission of having peace, and prosperity in the world. The goals were designed to ensure the needs of the present and future generations are fulfilled. There are seventeen goals which cover aspects like eradication of poverty, zero hunger, imparting quality education, gender equality, protection of nature including life underwater and above the land, availability of affordable and clean environment, better infrastructure and so on.
As has been rightly said by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. The United Nations, through Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals on Education, seeks to promote an inclusive and quality education with proper infrastructure for imparting education to all students irrespective of any discrimination.
COVID 19 AND EDUCATION
Covid-19 had hit the world in the year 2019 and India was no exception to it. In the month of March 2020, a country-wide lockdown was announced to prevent the spread of the virus. All the sectors were affected by Covid. A sector which faced one of the major burns was the education sector. The mode of imparting education to the pupils changed from traditional offline classes to online classes. A classroom is always imagined with a blackboard, students and a teacher teaching them, but due to Covid-19, all this was shifted to the online mode. There were majorly two hurdles to this paradigm shift in the education sector, firstly, how to use technology in the education sector, particularly for fields which require a piece of practical knowledge, secondly, the problem of infrastructure, how to reach the last student in the Country who is at a remote destination with less or no internet connectivity.
The Government came up with various schemes and measures for providing support to the students. These include providing free educational channels on Radio and Television and giving free access to various online courses and research portals.
Though Covid has wiped out years of efforts, put in the education sector, the various stakeholders have worked hard to find out the ways and measures to cope with this issue.
NEW EDUCATION POLICY AND SDG ON EDUCATION
The New Education Policy 2020, has been introduced by the Government with a motive to bring changes to the education sector and get it in line with Goal 4 (Education) of the SDGs. The Policy seeks to have an inclusive education for all children and to ensure that there is no inequality or discrimination against any student. NEP not only aims at giving quality education but also seeks the development of skills in an individual.
It is clearly enshrined in the themes of the Constitution of India that there shall be equal opportunity for all and that no one would be discriminated against on any ground. Further, the Constitution of India also guarantees the Fundamental Right to education. Education under the Indian Constitution has been discussed under the Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and also under the Fundamental Duties.
Though Covid-19 has put a long-lasting effect on the education sector, Countries are putting their efforts to attain the goal of education for all till the targeted year 2030. Since the field of education is interlinked, the Nations have to work together to attain the Goal.
The world has started to lead an everyday life as it was in the pre-Covid era, with the Schools and Universities opening again, States are coming up with various Policies to come back to the same pace and move with full vigour to achieve the goal of education for all under the SDGs. Further, it is required for all the stakeholders that they work together in achieving the Goal of 100% literacy.
Dr. Kirti Dahiya,