- In July 2020, ‘National Education Policy’ (NEP), 2020 was approved by the cabinet.
- This policy aims for the major overhaul of the Indian education system. It is expected that the education system will be completely transformed by 2040.
- This will replace the old National Educational Policy, 1986.
- As education is a concurrent subject, implementation of the policy will require the approval of states.
Positive impact on the education system:
– Positive impact on school education:
- School years are changed from 10+2 format to 5+3+3+4 format (Foundational (3 years of pre-school + Grade 1-2)+ Preparatory (Grades 3-5) + Middle (Grade 6-8)+ High School (Grade 9-12)). For the first time, Early childhood Care & Education (ECCE) is also included in education policy. Anganwadis and private pre-schools will take care ECCE of children. Anganwadi centres will be strengthened by 2030 to provide equitable access to ECCE for all children. This policy aimed to achieve 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in pre-school to secondary school by 2035.
- To eliminate rote-learning and to promote the holistic development of children, the present curriculum and pedagogy will be revamped to make it suitable for the 21st century.
- Nutritious breakfast will be provided in addition to the mid-day meal program so that children can peacefully concentrate on studies.
- At present, Intermediate education is in terms of groups such as MPC, BPC, CEC etc. After studying these courses, students had to go into that career path. This method is eliminated in NEP 2020. The 4-year undergraduate course will have a wide choice of subjects for the students to choose from. Arts, vocational crafts & physical education can also be chosen. There will be no hard separation among ‘curricular’, ‘extra-curricular’, or ‘co-curricular’ areas, among ‘arts’, ‘humanities’, and ‘sciences’, or between ‘vocational’ or ‘academic’.
- In general, vocational education is considered as inferior to mainstream education. But vocational education improves the employability of students. In developed countries, many students go for vocational subjects. In South Korea, 95% of students go for these subjects, in the US it is 52% and in Germany, it is 75%. Now, vocational subjects are integrated into mainstream education. So, that will be beneficial for the Indian economy.
- At present, only intellectual skills are developed in schools. But that is not sufficient for the overall development of children. So, National Education Policy, 2020 proposed imparting emotional skills such as empathy, communication, perseverance, teamwork, leadership quality etc in students.
- For holistic development, children should be taught many things apart from education. NEP 2020 stresses on encouraging creativity and innovativeness in students. They will be given knowledge on necessary things such as new technologies, digital literacy, gender sensitisation, fundamental duties, social issues etc by revamping the curriculum.
- ‘Right to Education’ (RTE) is extended from 14 years to 18 years.
- To increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio and also to increase access to education, Online Distance Learning (ODL), MOOC (Massive Open online courses) will be given adequate importance. This can reduce the number of dropouts too.
- Textbooks containing core concepts will be the same for all at the national level, and at the same time supplement materials can be added as per local contexts and needs. In this way, local subjects will not be ignored.
- At present, our exams award memorization skills, which encourages rote-learning. This is the most criticised part of the Indian education system. NEP 2020 proposed the overhaul of assessment methods to promote critical thinking skills. The ‘National Assessment Centre for School Education’ (NACSE) will set standards and norms of assessments. To reduce exam stress on students, board exams can be taken on two occasions during any given school year – one main examination and one for improvement.
- To reduce the burden on students in writing multiple entrance tests for universities, ‘National Testing Agency ‘(NTA) will conduct high-quality common aptitude test for university entrances.
- A regulatory system will work towards stopping the commercialization of education by stopping the arbitrary increase of fees.
- Teacher-student relation is very important in the education system. But at present, teachers are transferred regularly, which places stress on students. So, this practice will be stopped.
- Teachers will be given constant opportunities, which is called as ‘Continuous Professional Development‘ (CPD) for self-improvement, to learn the latest innovations, pedagogy, story-telling based approach and advances in their profession. 50 hours of CPD per annum will be provided for teachers.
- Committed teachers will be recognised and will be encouraged with incentives such as an increase in salary, promotions etc. All these things can make the teaching profession lucrative and attractive. More people may come to this profession.
– Positive impact on Higher education:
- Till now, many Higher education institutes (HEIs) are providing limited courses. With NEP 2020, Colleges would either fully be integrated into a university or converted into an autonomous degree-giving institution. This allows faculty and institutional autonomy. Colleges will become multidisciplinary institutions by providing a wide choice of subjects.
- It made degrees flexible by providing entry and exit options to degree courses. Appropriate certification will be provided depending on the years they studied. If one chooses to quit after a year, they will obtain a diploma, if they quit after 2 years, the advanced diploma will be provided etc.
- This policy aims to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher education (GER) from 26% to 50% by 2035.
- India will be transformed as a global study destination by allowing top 100 universities of the world to open colleges in India.
- No student should be deprived of higher education due to financial inability. To make education inclusive financial support will be provided to socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Steps will be taken to achieve gender balance in HEIs.
- Professional education including technical, healthcare, legal and agriculture fields will be revamped to suit the needs of the 21st century.
- ‘National Higher Education Regulatory Authority‘ (NHERA) will regulate all the HEIs. This will eliminate duplication of regulatory efforts.
- ‘Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog‘ (RSA), an apex advisory body for elementary to university education in India will replace the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE). It will develop and revise the vision of the education system on a continuous basis in collaboration with the corresponding apex bodies of States.
- To promote high-quality research in educational institutes, ‘National Research Foundation’ (NRF) will be established to support and to fund research. Research & development in universities will be according to the research & development in the relevant industries.
- In general, some companies do not prefer recruiting the students that are graduated through distance learning courses. So, employability value of open learning courses should be addressed.
- States may feel like Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog (RSA) & National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) may overpower their institutes. Achieving a common ground with states will be a challenge.
- It was mentioned that funding for education will be increased to 6% of GDP to implement the new National Education Policy 2020. At present, 4.6% of the GDP is allocated for education. The economy has slowed down and on top of it pandemic has impacted the economy badly. So, increasing the education’s share may not be possible in the near future.
- Mother tongue/local language as the medium of instruction was made compulsory till class 5. This is criticised by many. English connects the whole of India because there are so many languages in our country. Reducing the importance of English is being criticised. And with this move, kids of inter-state migrants will be at a disadvantage.
- This policy mentioned online education, but still many people do not have access to digital devices and internet connectivity.
- Poor infrastructure in educational institutions and shortage of teachers are not addressed.
At present, the Indian education system is criticised by many due to many reasons such as its rote learning methods, outdated curriculum etc. India is ranking 35th in global education rankings of 2020. National Education Policy 2020 can completely change our education system for good because it crafted well according to the requirements of the 21st century. By 2030, India will have the largest population of youth. NEP 2020 helps in utilising this demographic dividend. And It can also make India a knowledge hub of the world by attracting foreign students.
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