India’s biggest educational reform in the history of the past 34 years has been introduced by the Union Cabinet on 29th July 2020 at 4 pm to make “India a global knowledge superpower”. The new Education Policy 2020 will provide major reforms in higher education, it is more focused on non-academic skills and increased inclusion through language diversity and course fluidity.
While announcing the New Education Policy 2020, Union Cabinet Minister Prakash Javadekar stated, “Union Cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the New Education Policy 2020 for the 21st Century. It is essential as for 34 years there were no changes in the educational policy. Cabinet has also approved the change of Union HRD Ministry’s name to Ministry of Education.”
This decision has been developed after consultations for nearly 5 years with stakeholders and the general public to redesign several structural changes in early as well as the higher education system. The NEP 2020 aims to achieve 100 percent of youth and adult literacy rates in India. Secretary of Higher education Amit Khare stated, “Government aims to increase public investment in education from current 4.3 to 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest.”
Key Highlights of New Education Policy 2020
New Features in School Education:-
Pre-primary education: The NEP 2020 aims to universalize the pre-primary education (age range between 3-6 years) by 2025 and provide foundational literacy and numeracy for all by 2025. This will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 under the school curriculum which is globally accepted crucial age of mental development of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with 3 years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling.
New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure: NEP provides a new curricular and pedagogical framework of 5+3+3+4 covering the children in the age-group 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 respectively.This will divide 10+2 higher education into 4 classes i.e. 9,10,11,12.
No Rigid separation of Arts and Science- Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects to study across for e.g- science students can have physics as a major subject and fashion designing as a minor subject. Students can opt for any combination.
Coding and Vocational Training from Class 6- Students would be taught coding language from class 6 as it is important to learn to code for every student in the 21st century. And students would be given vocational training from the middle stage this will help them in getting practical knowledge.
Equitable and Inclusive Education: NEP provides for the setting of gender inclusion funds and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged groups. Now children with disabilities can also participate in regular schooling processes from foundational stage to higher education with supportive educators having cross-disability training, accommodation, resource centers, assistive devices, and appropriate technology-based tools for suiting their needs.
Assessment Reforms- Centre expects to shift from summative assessments to more competitive based exams which will evaluate critical thinking, analytical thinking, and concept clarity. All students will give exams in class 3, 5, and 8 board exams for class 10th and 12th will be continued, but they would be redesigned with the aim of holistic development. A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body.
Setting of “Bal Bhavans”- This would be encouraged as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.
- ‘Rewind Life and Times of an O&G Construction Engineer’; an impactful memoir by Nallan C Mohan
- Mobile classrooms introduced, schools now at students’ doorstep in Andhra pradesh
New Features in Higher Education:-
Increase GER to 50% by 2035: NEP 2020 expects to achieve the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035. At least 3.5 crore new seats will be added to higher education institutions.
Multi-disciplinary Holistic Education at UG- This policy introduces Board based, multi-disciplinary, holistic undergraduate education with a flexible curriculum, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education, and multiple entries and exit points with appropriate certification.
UG education can now be of 3 or 4 years with multiple entry-exit options and appropriate certification within that period. E.g.- Certificate after 1 year of completion, Diploma after 2-year completion, graduation in bachelor after 3-year completion, and bachelor with research after 4 years. An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing the credit points of students earned from different institutes so that they can be counted/ transferred towards the final degree earned.
Financial Support for Students: Incentives would be made to provide funds to students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SDGs the scholarship portal would be expanded to support and track scholarships received by students. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.
Technology in Education- National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) is an autonomous body which will be created to provide a platform for a free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning and appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teachers professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration, and management
Open and Distance Learning- It will be expanded to increase the GER measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research and improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc, will play a significant role to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.
Promotion of Indian Languages- This is to ensure the preservation and growth of all Indian languages. NEP suggested setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs, and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI programmes.
The Internationalism of Education- This may be done through both institutional collaborations and student and school mobility and allowing entry of top world-ranked universities to open campuses in India.
SUMMARISED OUTCOMES OF NEP 2020-
- Universalization from ECCE to education by 2030, aligned in SDG4
- Attaining Foundational Learning & Numeracy Skills through Nation by 2025
- 100% GER in Pre-School to Secondary Level by 2030
- Bring Back 2 Cr Out of faculty Children
- Teachers to be prepared for assessment reforms by 2023
- Inclusive & Equitable Education System by 2030
- Board Exams to check core concepts and application of data
- Every Child will begin of faculty adept in a minimum of one Skill
Common Standards of Learning publicly & Private School
- Unlock 3.0 guidelines: Schools, colleges remain closed till August 31st
- Fact Check: Viral images of commemorative coins shared as real money is false