How can teachers influence education policy?

Teachers

What is education policy?

Education policies are the guidelines, rules, or frameworks designed and documented to implement the educational strategy made for a particular place, like states or countries. It varies from country to country, demographics, need for change, and performance of the existing education policy too. It keeps all the institutions like schools, colleges, or universities intact with the devised policy after careful research for the best benefit of students. The rules lay forward important points like how students have to be taught, what the curriculum should emphasize, how the management needs to be carried on in schools, etc.

Why is education policy needed?

Fair Disbursal of Knowledge:

As the knowledge provision is different for different kinds of schools. The amenities provided in public schools may not be at par with the ones provided in private schools. Similarly, any disparity in the curriculum may reflect the vast difference in knowledge among a different set of students too. So, education must be standardised with the help of similar policies.

Equality:

Education policy ensures that equality is maintained among students irrespective of their caste, religion, status, occupation of parents, gender, etc. As they are standardised versions for all kinds of schools, equality is ensured. Besides, it does not let any religious, societal, or political biases pave their way into the education system of the place.

Compliance insurance:

Every country or state has an education policy that ensures that non-compliance is met with penalties, or else there will not be wilful compliance most of the time. Even though the penalties may not be harsh, they are strict enough to ensure that the institutes take appropriate measures to implement them.  

Ensure active learning:

It is not simply necessary for students to learn continuously to get good marks and improve further; steps are taken via education policy that the staff members be it principals or teachers, also keep on regularly updating with the latest knowledge and courses if need be. Otherwise, the faculties may become more outdated, which would impact the quality of education for the student too.

How can teachers impact education policy?

Feedback mechanism:

Teacher’s voices are the most important for framing an education policy as they spend the most time teaching their students, understanding their behavior and reaction towards particular subjects, and even the necessity of a subject in real life. It is their opinion which should count the most. However, this does not generally happen, and they are mostly neglected in the education system; even in schools, they are not made part of the most important decision-making process, making them alienated and under-confident.

Becoming part of the system:

It is necessary to make teachers a part of the system as influence makers, who can tell about the conditions of the education as per their opinion, and what they feel has to be changed or improved in the coming future. The government must most welcome their opinions during the decision-making phase while planning an education policy. The same should apply to any decision-making by the school/college/university management. This will eventually make them feel like they are part of the process.

Learning from others:

 Education policy not only reflects one but several points of view on a particular topic. It gives the insight to delve into other problems, too, instead of just focusing on a single issue. The matters covered in an education policy are holistic, which gives them a touch of regional inclusion. Problems from multiple points are addressed with an amicable solution making it easier for teachers of the various region to learn from each other and implement the same in their place too.

Regular updates:

In most cases, teachers are so busy with their daily schedules that they don’t have time to remain updated about what is happening around them. It is necessary that through full proofreading of documents like the education policy, teachers remain updated on the progress elsewhere and use this as best practice in their classrooms. Instead of stagnating their knowledge, this updating would help them pass new learning systems to their students, improving the quality of education.

Thus education policy must be comprehensive, understandable, and a must-read for all the teachers they are targeting to make the best use of it. In this way, it will help teachers influence education policy and keep on addressing problems that might arise later in time. In fact, management should ensure that the latest education policies are updated on ERP software platforms designed for the school so that the teacher gets an update through a single dashboard.

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