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Should new education policy of India be guided by SDGs agenda agreed by world community?
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved in the period 1915 - 1930 have been agreed upon by most countries including India. The 17 SDGs and 169 targets have become new universal agenda to 'paint an inspiring vision of what the world could look like in 2030. Consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets to spur action in areas of critical importance to humanity - people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership' asserts the UN.

The world community has agreed to the fact that 'sustainable development begins with education'; 'education is a fundamental right and the basis for progress in every country'; and prosperity of country 'depends on skilled and educated workers'.

According to the UN, with partnership, leadership and wise investments in education, we can transform individual lives, national economies and our world.

Among the 17 goals, the goal number 4 or SDG-4 is meant to 'ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all'. The two main targets of the educational goal set have started reshaping the educational policies of many countries.

The first target is to achieve universal access to quality education from pre-school to tertiary level, including technical and vocational education with entrepreneurship and employable skills. The second target is meant to achieve international cooperation in higher education including vocational training, ICT, technical, engineering and scientific programs in developed countries and other higher income developing countries through scholarship schemes.

In the coming months the international community will create a space to re-consider its commitments and obligations to the young and the marginalized in the world, whose voices are often muted. For working together it is imperative that all interested stakeholders recommit themselves to unlocking the transformative power of education.

If one examines carefully, SDG-4 is a transformative education agenda that has focus on good quality teaching and inclusive classroom practices by accessing educational opportunities based on equity, flexibility and adaptability.

The UN has urged that by 'investing in education now, in a balanced way across levels and in equitable ways across population groups, will increase the effectiveness of education systems to deliver the anticipated benefits and will have a multiplier effect across the sustainable development agenda'.

The present exercise of framing the New Education Policy in India is drawing flak from meaningful teachers, educators and educationists and the way out is to shape policy on the basis of SDG-4 to which India is a signatory.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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