NEW ERA: National Education Policy,2020

This Article Is Written By Suvarna Pradeep Powar.

Introduction:

India will have the highest youth population in the world over the next decade, and the ability to provide high-quality educational opportunities to them will shape the future of our country. This National Education Policy is the first education policy of the 21st century, and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of this country. Approved by Union Cabinet the New National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system – from the school to college level and making “India a global knowledge superpower”

Changes introduced by New education policy:

  1. School Education:
  2. Education from preschool to secondary level in school education with 100% gross enrolment ratio by 2030
  3. To bring back the drop out children through an open schooling system
  4. 10+ 2 curricular to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 that is (3-8), (8-11), (11-14), and (14-18) years
  • It will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
    • It will also have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.
  • Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier, which will test core competencies rather than memorised facts, allowing students to take the exam twice.
  • School governance is 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 Education to start from Class 6 with Internships.
  • Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/regional language and if possible, to be continued at the later stage. No language will be imposed on any student.
  •  Holistic development, students will be assessed on their 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 NCERT. By 2030 the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
  • Higher education:
  • Quality Universities and Colleges providing education keeping in view the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by increasing proportion of employment opportunities for creative, multidisciplinary and highly skilled workforce.
  • The main aim of this policy in higher education is to end the fragmentation of higher education by transforming higher education institutions into large universities, colleges, and HEI clusters, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students offering undergraduate and graduate programmes, with high-quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
  • More HEIs shall be established and developed. The Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education (including vocational education) shall increase from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2030 having the option to run Open Distance Learning (ODL) and online programmes, provided they being specifically accredited to do so.
  • The undergraduate degree will be of either 3-or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options, provided with appropriate certifications. Completion of 4-year programme will lead to a degree ‘with research’. Diploma after 1 year, or an advanced diploma in a discipline or field (including vocational and professional areas) after completing 2 years of study or obtain a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme.
  • Model public universities for holistic education, to be developed at par with IITs, IIMs, etc., called MERUs (Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities) and will aim to reach the global standards.
  • Special programmes shall be devised for gifted students so that they can complete their programme on a fast-track mode.
  • Institutions and faculty will have the autonomy to innovate on matters of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment within a broad framework of higher education qualifications. All assessment systems shall be decided by the HEI, including those that lead to final certification.
  • 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 given 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 thefree 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.
  • Policy also paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
  • 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 toincrease the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest from 4.65 spent now on education.

Conclusion:

NEP is based on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive skills – both ‘foundational skills’ of literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ cognitive skills such as critical thinking and problem solving – but also social and emotional skills – also referred to as ‘soft skills’ – including cultural awareness and empathy, perseverance and grit, teamwork, leadership, communication, among others.

By 2030, it is expected to have provided ample opportunities for evaluation. In the decade of 2030-40, the entire policy will be in an operational mode.

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