‘National Educational Policy’ 2020 – Highlights & Concerns!
BY: By Ahmad
“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”
Malala Yousafzai once said. Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Education is a basic human right, a public good, a public responsibility, and also the best investment that one can make to ensure a sustainable future and leave no one behind.
India’s first Education Policy was passed and implemented in 1986. After thirty-four years, the National Education Policy (NEP) for India has been updated, revised and approved on 29 July 2020. The new policy replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986. The policy signifies a huge milestone for India’s Education system, which will certainly make India an attractive destination for higher education world-wide. The policy is based on the pillars of “Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability” and will transform India into a vibrant knowledge hub
Key Points of National Education Policy (NEP)
- School Education:
- Universalizationof education from preschool to secondary level with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by
- To bring 2 crore out of school children back into the mainstream through an open schooling system.
- The current 10+2 systemto be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
- Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier,to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
- School governanceis set to change, with a new accreditation framework and an independent authority to regulate both public and private schools.
- Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools.
- Vocational Educationto start from Class 6 with Internships.
- Teaching up to atleast Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.
- Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card,tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
- A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2021,will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with National Council of Educational Research and Training
- By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated
- Higher Education:
- Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised from the current 26.3% to 50% by 2035. Also, 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.
- Holistic Undergraduate education with a flexible curriculum can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
- Phil courses will be discontinued and all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
- Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits.
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
- The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
- Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards. Also, HECI will be having four independent verticals namely,
- National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation,
- General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting,
- Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,
- National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
- Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
- Over a period of time, every college is expected to develop into either an autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
- Other Changes:
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
- National Assessment Centre- ‘PARAKH’ has been created to assess the students.
- It also paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
- It emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
- National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.
- It also aims to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP from current 4.6% at the earliest.
v Benefits of New Education Policy 2020
Some of the important benefits of the New Education Policy 2020 are as follows:
- The New Education Policy will give importance to students’ practical knowledge instead of just pushing them towards rote learning.
- It will help students to develop scientific temper from a young age.
- The NEP aims to make it easier to set up new quality of higher educational institutes which will be at par with the global standards.
- Since NEP will make it easier for foreign colleges to set up their campuses here many students who are unable to go abroad due to multiple reasons will be able to experience it and get global exposure.
- This will promote value-based education.
v Drawbacks of the New Education Policy
Regional and local languages will be promoted but somehow, English will take a back seat.
- English is the language of the world, Indian local & regional languages will not help that much at International level.
- Imposing English in class 6th onwards will not give proper confidence & command in the English language to students.
- Implementing so many regional or local languages in different states will be difficult to assess whether they all are on the same platform or syllabus.
- According to the national education policy 2020, students willing to complete their graduation have to study for four years while one can easily complete his/ her diploma degree in two years. This might encourage the pupil to leave the course midway.
- According to the national education policy 2020, students of the private schools will be introduced with English at a much earlier age than the students of the Government schools. The academic syllabus will be taught in the respective regional languages of the Government school students. This is one of the major new education policy drawbacks as this will increase the number of students uncomfortable in communicating in English thus widening the gap between sections of the societies.
National Education Policy has more positives than negatives. However, it is only after the execution that the people will finally be able to judge its effectiveness.
The writer is Principal (I/C), Abhedananda Home (Higher Secondary Institution for Specially-abled Children) Solina, Rambagh, Srinagar, e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org