Highlights of the National Education Policy(NEP) 2020:
- The scrapping of 10+2 structure for 5+3+3+4 model in schooling
- More focus on co-curricular and vocational activities
- Carrying out learning in the vernacular language
- Lesser importance on Board Exams
- Increased spending on education sector
- HRD ministry re-designated as the Ministry of Education
- Focus on actual and practical knowledge, instead of rot learning
- Education to become more accessible to all.
- Development of academic infrastructure
- No strict categorization between Science, Arts, and Commerce
The Union Cabinet welcomed the new National Education Policy to pave the way for educational reforms. The brand new structure is said to bring India on par. Here’s all about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The Union Cabinet presided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 on July 29.
NEP 2020 will replace the 34 your-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986. It is the first primary education policy of the 21st century in India.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank asserted that the National Education Policy 2020 would usher transformational reforms in both school and higher education systems in India.
Also Read: Education Scenario in India
The HRD Minister said that the NEP was formed after much deliberation and consultation. He added that the draft was placed in the public sphere for discussions, and they received over 2.25 lakh suggestions.
Calling NEP momentous for the country, Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal congratulated teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders for the NEP 2020.
The Vision of NEP 2020
The NEP stands on the foundational pillars of access, equality, affordability, quality, and accountability. It focuses on remodeling India into a dynamic global knowledge superpower.
NEP desires to make both school and college education more flexible, holistic, and multifaceted suited to the current needs. It will enhance the unique capabilities of each student.
The HRD ministry ensured that NEP would develop good behavior, social capacities, sensitivity, ethics, cooperation, and teamwork among children through a joyful teaching method. Critical thinking, experimental and application-based learning, focusing on life skills, multidisciplinary, and continuous review are the hallmarks of the new policy.
The policy is designed to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The set of 17 global goals are curated by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030. One of the goals emphasis on quality education.
Features of the New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020:
- Increased Spending on Education
The National Education Policy seeks to increase public spending on education. It will be expanded from 4% of the GDP to nearly 6% of the GDP.
- HRD Ministry Renamed
Following the recommendations of the NEP 2020 draft, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has been relabeled as the Ministry of Education.
The move was taken to give education and learning a topmost priority.
- 5+3+3+4 Pedagogical Model
The institutional structure based on cognitive evolution has been reformed in NEP 2020.
The 5+3+3+4 structure of school education will replace the current 10+2 structure. The aim is to revolutionize the pedagogical and circular structure for incorporating the foundational stages.
However, the new breakdown does not imply the insertion of more years to the existing model. No additional schooling years are added. The total number of years spent on schooling remains the same.
But for the first time, early education is included in the model.
The Foundational stage for five years:
- The stage comprises children of age group 3-8 years.
- It further splits into- 3 years of pre-school, playschool, kindergarten or Anganwadi till the age of 6, and 2 years of primary education, including grade 1 and grade 2 till the age of 8.
- Here the focus is on building language skills and activity-based teaching modes.
- The aim is to include the pre-schools or playschools into the formal education system.
The Preparatory stage for three years:
- This stage is for age group 8-11 years or classes 3-5.
- Along with language building, now the focus will be on numeracy skills and cognitive development.
- On the teaching front, interactive classroom and experimental learning will be followed.
Middle Stage for three years
- This stage refers to the age group 11-14 years or classes 6 to 8.
- The focus would be on a subject-oriented learning style and critical thinking.
Secondary Stage for four years
- The final stage includes age group 14-18 years or classes 9 to 12 ( the secondary and the higher secondary).
- This level will allow students to select any set of subjects as per their interest. The strict categorization of Science, Commerce, and Arts will be abolished.
- The focus would be on the flexibility of subjects and critical thinking.
- Lesser Importance on Board Exams
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will undertake one common entrance exam (CET) for admissions to all the colleges and universities for the undergraduate programs. However, the different educational boards such as CBSE or state boards will conduct 10th and 12th board exams, but the importance of these exams will be reduced.
And instead of months of rot learning and memorization, the board exams will emphasize more on a holistic approach. The board will evaluate the student’s core abilities and competencies.
Also, students will be allowed to appear for the board examination twice in an academic year. The first one will be an important exam and the other one for improvement. The changes are expected to occur by 2022-23.
Besides that, there will be a reduction in the syllabus. The curriculum will now incorporate holistic learning, practical approach, core essentials, discussion-based learning, and critical thinking.
- 360 Degree Report Card
Instead of telling only the marks, the new report cards will be evaluated on the student’s all-round growth.
Teachers and peers will grade a student in the holistic report cards.
- Focus on Indian languages
To provide multi-lingual flexibility, the ‘Three-language formula’ will be adopted.
The students are now allowed to choose in whichever language they want to study, as long as two out of the three words are vernacular languages.
NEP advocates the mother tongue or local language to be the medium of instruction at least till Class 5.
Several foreign languages, such as German, French, Spanish, etc., will also be available at the secondary level to encourage language diversity.
All the levels of school and higher education will offer Sanskrit as an option in the three-language formula.
- Technology to promote learning
NEP will strengthen the digital infrastructure to enhance learning capacities and exchange of ideas. “Leave no child behind, digital bridge gap” is the motto.
Keeping in mind the recent pandemic situation, NEP will emphasize on the alternative modes of education. The online learning will take place whenever or wherever the traditional methods of teaching are not feasible.
As to strengthen it, the Ministry will look after the digital infrastructure and online content for e-learning. The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be formed to improve learning and assessment.
For teachers to become quality online content creators, they will undergo a training program. Online books will also be available to students.
- Greater Importance on Vocational Courses
NEP states that every child should learn “ at least one vocation and exposed to several more. “
The states will decide various vocational exposure in middle and secondary schools. It can range from pottery, carpentry, gardening, etc.
The policy proposes a 10-day bagless with “local vocational experts” for better learning and understanding of the vocation. It also talks about similar internship opportunities to students throughout Classes 6-12.
Under the ‘local teacher education programs’, schools can hire a local resource person to teach a vocational craft.
- The Higher Education Commission of India
The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be formed as an umbrella body to oversee the entire higher education system in India, excluding legal and medical education.
The commission will be further divided into four bodies supervising funding, regulations, standard-setting, and finding outcomes, respectively.
Specific standards and norms will govern public and private higher education institutes. HECI will have the power to punish the institutes for not abiding the rules.
- Introduction of Special Education Zones
To narrow down prevailing disparities, the policy will establish the principle of equitable learning.
NEP has initiated ‘Special Education Zones’ to make sure that the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SDGs) have access to quality education.
The broad categorization of SDGs include:
- Socio-cultural identities: SCs, STs, and OBCs
- Gender identities: Women and Transgender
- Geographical characters: Students present in remote areas or distant villages
- Socio-economic conditions: Orphans, Victims of Human Trafficking, Low-income households
- Disabilities: Learning disorders
National Educational Policy 2020 will focus on all these marginalized groups and provide them with scholarships, schemes, and quality education.
- Provisions for children with Disabilities
To make sure than the children with disabilities fully participate in the natural learning process, NEP has laid down new provisions for them.
Cross disability training, accommodations, resource centers, assistive tools, technology-based devices, and other support mechanisms will be offered.
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