As confirmed by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, India is ready with its New National Education Policy 2020. This is an extremely big and powerful step taken after 1986. The education policy has been revised after 34 years. This is a welcoming step considering the education needs of the 21st Century.
Along with this, the cabinet has given the consent to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Ministry of Education.
If you are wondering what is this whole policy is going to change! Here is the detailed synopsis of The National Education Policy 2020 of India.
We all have been debating over the issue of need of reforms in the Indian Education System. This policy no doubt to a certain extent will help to prepare a ‘New India’ which would focus more on ‘Skill Development ‘rather than the country that follows the approach of ‘learning for the exams’. The changes have been suggested in the early as well as the higher education system.
Amit Khare, Secretary of Higher Education claimed two major developments through this New Education policy:
- The aim is to achieve 100 per cent youth and adult literacy in India which currently stands at 69.1 percent as stated in the Educational Statistics report released by MHRD in 2018.
- The government aims to increase the public investment in the education sector from the present 4.3 per cent to reach 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest.
Let us first explain you the new Curricular and Pedagogic structures in Schools:
As we currently know the education system in school comprises 2 stages, which is from age group of 6-16years (till class 10th) and 16-18 years ( class 11th and 12th). From now on there will be 4 stages in the new academic structure, which is being called as the new Curricular and Pedagogic structures.
The new formula of school education system is (5+3+3+4) which implies out of these 15 years of a child’s schooling he/she has to go 3 years in Anganwadi/pre-school and 12 years in school.
These stages are described to make the formula easy for you to understand:
• Foundational stage (5 years): Here the focus will be on multilevel, play/activity-based learning. NCERT will design a complete framework of the early childhood education of children up to the age of 8.
• Preparatory Stage (3 years) Here the focus will be on play, discovery, and activity-based and interactive classroom learning. In this stage, children will be learning 3 languages, which would depend on their state’s decision.
Upto this stage the children will be taught in their mother tongue.
• Middle Stage (3 years) Here the focus will be on experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities
• Secondary Stage(4 years) Here the focus will be on multidisciplinary study, greater critical thinking, flexibility and student choice of subjects.
To explain flexibility and student choice of subjects is important here in secondary stage because it is being considered as a major change in the traditional study system in India.
Currently in grade 11th students are given the choice to choose their STREAMS, but now they will be given the opportunity to select their SUBJECTS of interest. Apart from this the There will be no hardcore separation between arts and Science between vocational and academic streams and between curricular and extracurricular activities.
So coming onto the current curriculum, is there going to be any change?
First of all, vocational courses would be introduced from class 6 onwards and Curriculum in all subjects to be reduced to its core essentials. There are 4 factors on which the new school curriculum is supposed to function:
Core Essentials, critical thinking, interactive classes and Experimental Learning
The aim of this structure is to reduce the dependency on textbooks and the cramming ideology among children. With this comes the biggest challenge, the government has taken on itself that is the implementation of digital ways of learning. With digital India in full pace the government plans to use technology in education planning teaching-learning and assessment administration and management divyang friendly education software, e-content availability in regional language and virtual Labs. The government also plans to set up the National Education Technology forum. Also, the schools would be required to expand their library and availability of books physically as well as digitally.
To make education accessible to everyone the government has finally decided to provide Affordable, high-quality and energised textbooks to be provided along with free
digital version on DIKSHA Platform.
Not to forget the government has put the clause for schools to ensure mental and physical well being of children in school. It is not only made mandatory for students to acquire the skills in health and nutrition physical education fitness Wellness and sports apart from that the government would encourage the states to hire the number of counselors and teachers.
Apart from the new regular curriculum, it would also be encouraged to make children aware about the rich and varied heritage of India, through various interactive lessons, stories, documentaries, and modules. A special education program inclusion for gifted children is also one of the agendas in the new curriculum.
Now, coming to the examination policy for the school children.
This has to be the major change in the current exam pattern in the country. Now the examinations have been divided into 2 categories:
- Examinations in grades 1 to 8
- Reforming examinations in grades 9 to 12 including board exams
With NEP 2020, the Centre hopes to shift from summative assessment to a more competency-based regular assessment which tests analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity. All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8.
Currently in India over the years boards have become criteria to judge a student. So for now Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but understanding their limitation as the sole criteria of a child’s performance will be modified and redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
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.
Apart from this the report card issued at the end of the academic year will be used only for developmental purposes and for continuous monitoring and improvement of the schooling system up to class 8th and 10th and 12th Board exams will be made ‘easier’, as they will test primarily core capacities/competencies.
Now it is time to answer your next question.
What will be the process of admission into higher education and the new developments in the higher education system of India?
The basic aim of considering higher education is to Increase GER to 50% by 2035:
NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent (2018) to 50 per cent by 2035.
In order to accomplish this 3.5 crore new seats need to be increased in higher education institutions.
What steps will be taken to reach the new desired Gross Enrolment Ratio?
By increasing the opportunity of Open and Distance Learning:
No doubt the open learning is going to play a massive role in increasing GER.
The government ensures to par with the highest quality in-class programmes measures such as
- online courses
- digital repositories
- funding for research
- improved student services
- credit-based recognition of MOOCs
will be implemented on a ground level.
Promotion of Online and Digital Education:
A dedicated team is going to be appointed to insure the digital infrastructure and digital content. A new building will be constructed in the education ministry to take care of the e-education requirements of both school and higher education
Holistic Multidisciplinary Education: The new policy encourages broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic undergraduate education with a flexible study approach, open to choice combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example, certificate after 1 year, advanced diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with research after 4 years.
An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different institutes so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.
The government is actually focusing on promoting studies through research best projects in higher education. To encourage this:
Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, will be established as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country. Along with this the National Research Foundation will be started as an apex body for inculcating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education. Which really lacks in Indian education system currently.
Who will look after the Regulation of the Higher Education Body?
Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single umbrella body that is going to accommodate for the complete Indian higher education. Although this excludes medical and legal education as they have their own separate governing bodies in India.
HECI will have complete powers and control to penalise higher education institutions for not obeying to norms and standards as listed by Ministry of Education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of rules and regulations, accreditation and academic protocols.
Financial aid for students meritorious students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs:
The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of scholarships and educational aids to the meritorious students.
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