India gets its New Education Policy

After an interval of 34 years, finally New Education Policy (NEP) got approved on July 29, 2020. It would have been better if the wait for NEP was not so long. But now the strategies proposed for radical change in Education system seems worth waiting. This policy will indeed modernize and boost the Education system. In this policy, the Education system is designed according to the need of 21st century. Many drastic changes have been approved in school education, higher education, teacher education and research. The focus is on skill based learning and cognitive development instead of rote learning. Now the learning would be based on the interests of the children. Also the name of Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has been again renamed as Education Ministry. Previously in 1985, the name of this ministry was changed.

The New Education Policy has proposed the far- reaching changes in the Indian Education system. Through this, the youth of India will be shaped to cope with the global challenges as well as contribute well in shaping India to be a ‘Vishva-Guru’ again. The policy was being drawn up since 2015. In 2016, a committee lead by TRS Subramanian submitted its report with its recommendations. Then , in 2017, another committee was formed lead by former ISRO chief Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted its report in 2019. The previous education policy was made in 1986, in which few amendments were made in 1992. The government is preparing for the implementation of NEP from this session.

There are five pillars of this New Education Policy i.e. Access, Equity, Quality , Affordability and Accountability. Based on these pillars the amendments are made in Education system. The government is also aiming to spend 6% of GDP on education sector which prior was only 4%. As we know, India is a multi- lingual country , so in this policy encouragement is given to for development and enrichment if the regional languages.

KEY POINTS IN NEW EDUCATION POLICY

  • In New Education Policy, the structure of School System is changed. The structure of 10+2 is abolished. The new structure of schooling is centered as 5+3+3+4 i.e. in four levels. The first stage of five years include the pre-schooling or Anganwadi of three years and first two years of schooling i.e. grade one and two (Foundation level). Then, there are three more levels grade three to five (Primary level), grade six to eight (Middle level) and grade nine to twelve(Secondary level).
  • Examinations will not be conducted every year, instead it will be conducted in Grade three, five and eight. The board exams of Grade ten and twelve will be continued. Students will get two attempts to appear in boards. These examinations will not be based on rote learning , but the application of knowledge in real life situations.
  • PARAKH, National Assessment Centre, is proposed to be setup as a standard-setting body under MHRD that will set norms and guidelines for assessment of students, for national achievement survey (NAS) and will also update it accordingly.
  • Upto Standard 5, the medium of instruction will be the regional language (preferably till Grade 8 and beyond). This is because students grasp quickly in their mother-tongue or home-language. It is clearly stated that ‘no language will be forced on any student.’
  • Modern vocational training like CODING will be taught to students from Grade 6. Other vocational courses will be there in colleges. This will help youth in becoming self- dependent.
  • National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE), 2020-21 is will be formulated by NCERT in a new and comprehensive way. Also it will be visited and updated once in every 5-10 years. According to the director of NCERT, revised curriculum books will be ready in around three years.
  • In Secondary Education, now there is no rigid distribution of streams as there was formerly. Students can choose subjects according to their interest like Science stream students can also opt for Psychology or Music as per their interest.
  • The unnecessary load of syllabus will also be pulled out. Only relevant topics will be there in the curriculum. The crucial focus of amendments is to provide holistic development to the students through integrated, engaging, interesting, multi-disciplinary and multi-linguistic learning.
  • Higher Education‘s standard will be elevated. Students can opt for creative combination of subjects according to their interest. Also they can change their subjects in mid of their course. Academic Bank of Credit will be established in which credits earned from previous courses and attended Universities will be kept safe. These will be added in final.
  • Now prestigious universities of world can establish their campuses in India. This will help in coping with the issue og ‘Brain Drain.’ It will also help in boosting the economy.
  • To save student’s time and money, only one entrance exam will be conducted all over India for admission in all Universities. Also, uniform regulations and standards (including fee) will be established for private as well as government Universities by a single regulatory body.
  • Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be formed as a single regulator for Higher Education. Independent regulatory bodies like UGC and others will be dissolved into it.
  • Multiple- entry and exit facility will now be available in education system. If one has to leave the degree course just after one year completion, he/she will not be empty-handed. After completion of one year a certificate will be provided , after two years a diploma and finally after three years a degree. This will surely help the dropout students in continuing their studies.
  • In this radical transition of Education system by NEP, a new system is proposed for Research. M. Phil. has been terminated. There is a new four-year degree course for students interested in research. After this degree and M.A. of one year, one can directly go for PhD. National Research Foundation (NRF) will be established to strengthen and flourish the research culture in India.
  • Teacher Education and their procedure of appointment has also thoroughly revised. There will three types of B.Ed. (minimum requirement to become a teacher), 4-year B.Ed. for 12th pass aspirants, 2-year B.Ed. for graduates and 1-year B.Ed. for those who have passed M.A. By 2030, 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree will be made compulsory.
  • Government has aimed to improve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education to 50% by 2035, keeping in mind vast population of youth in India. Currently, it is 26%.
  • According to government’s roadmap, most of the provisions of NEP will come into effect by 2024. A monitoring committee will be formed for intact implementation of proposed policies.

It took a quite long time of 24 years to get a New Education Policy, so the government now should take long time for its implementation. Education which meets the global standards is a salient way to make our country a strong and independent nation. In addition, the target of government to spend 6% of GDP on Education will really bring a positive change, it will definitely help in building the fundamental structure of education at all levels. Finally , it must be kept into mind that any policy , does not matter how righteous it is, will only be productive when it comes into effect sincerely. Long and short, apt implementation of NEP will fulfil the needs and challenges of India in 21st century.