The National Educational Policy (2020) aims to revolutionize the perception of higher education and diverge from the narrow confines of one dimensional approach of a specialized study. The concept of ‘Liberal Education’ corresponds to the ancient pedagogical designs practiced in the heralded Universities of Taksila and Nalanda. It is a comprehensive scheme of versatile courses ranging from rhetoric and logic to astronomy reflecting the strategic and all-encompassing development of an individual.
The macaulayian system of education coupled with Nehruvian emphasis on technical education contributed to the emergence of a generation solely interested in gaining technical expertise with no concern of nurturing the creative faculty, a crucial factor that shapes the innovative spirit. The consequence of mere stress on the mechanical knowledge has produced a legion of technical graduates without employability and transferable skills creating a greater problem of unemployability in our nation.
Liberal education seeks to wipe away the colonial mind-set of the educative policies and strives to empower a new generation of leaders with critical inquiry and inventive faculty to expand the boundaries of the technical knowledge as well as gain adaptability skills to function at the intersection of various disciplines. For instance, a student of computational linguistics, is well versed in the ethnographical analysis of the language simultaneously creating integrated technologies under the purview of languages systems like Alexa or Siri.
A Dell Technologies report in 2017 projected that eighty five percent of the jobs of 2030 have not been invented yet. This confirms that it imperative gain multi- disciplinary aptitude to deal with the future challenges of job market. A trans- disciplinary curriculum will aid in the evolution of the individual both analytically and creatively. Moreover, let us move away from the misconception, that liberal education graduates only excels in the field of academia. We have likes of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube majored in History, and Literature at Harvard University, Sam Palmisano, and former IBM CEO was a History major at Johns Hopkins University, Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host and producer earned a Communication degree at Tennessee State University.
Therefore, liberal education is a dynamic enterprise that will revamp the bifurcated structures of education and dismantle the dichotomy of academic elitism conferred up on few areas of professional learning. Liberal education is the core principle highlighted in the New National Education Policy which dictates that the students should be prepared to the embrace the currents of expected change in the professional arena of the nation.