MUMBAI: New Education Policy was launched on Wednesday, July 29. Earlier, in the afternoon the Union cabinet approved the policy that aims to overhaul the country’s education system. Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B)Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, made the announcement on the NEP- 2020. Earlier on May 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reviewed the NEP- 2020, for which draft was prepared by a panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan.
After over 30 years this change has been brought, says Javadekar. The education policy was released in the year 1986.The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”. The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kicks in
Here are some of the key highlights of the New Education Policy :-
- The policy aims to enable an individual to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level, and also develop character, scientific temper, creativity, the spirit of service, and 21st-century capabilities across a range of disciplines including sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, among others.
- It identified the major problems facing the higher education system in the country and suggested changes such as moving towards multidisciplinary universities and colleges, with more institutions across India that offer a medium of instruction in local/Indian languages, a more multidisciplinary undergraduate education, among others. The governance of such institutions by independent boards having academic and administrative autonomy has also been suggested.
- Under the suggestions for institutional restructuring and consolidation, it has suggested that by 2040, all higher education institutions (HEIs) shall aim to become multidisciplinary institutions, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students, and by 2030 each or near every district in the country there will be at least one HEI.
- The aim will be to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in HEIs including vocational education from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035.
- Single-stream HEIs will be phased out over time, and all will move towards becoming vibrant multidisciplinary institutions or parts of vibrant multidisciplinary HEI clusters.
- The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session begins.
- The undergraduate degree courses will be of either 3 or 4- year duration, with multiple exit options. A certificate course after completing 1 year in a discipline or field, including vocational and professional areas, or a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year program. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s program, however, shall be the preferred option.
- New Education Policy 2020 aims at promoting India as a global study destination providing premium education at affordable costs. An International Students Office at each institution hosting foreign students will be set up.
- High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries. Selected universities like those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India.
- Lok Vidya’, i.e., important vocational knowledge developed in India, will be made accessible to students. The education ministry would constitute a National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE)
- Students of class 6 and onwards will be taught coding in schools as a part of 21st-century skills, the school education secretary said.
- In order to reduce the importance and stress of board exams, the exam will be conducted in two parts: Objective and descriptive. The exam can be conducted twice a year. The board exam should promote knowledge application rather than rote learning.
- The National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialized common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, and vocational subjects, at least twice every year for university entrance exams.
- Quality technology-based options for adult learning such as apps, online courses/modules, satellite-based TV channels, online books, and ICT-equipped libraries and Adult Education Centres, etc. will be developed.
- The nutrition and health (including mental health) of children will be addressed, through healthy meals and regular health check-ups, and health cards will be issued to monitor the same.
- Curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to its core essentials, and make space for critical thinking and more holistic, inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based learning.
- The mandated content will focus on key concepts, ideas, applications, and problem-solving. Teaching and learning will be conducted in a more interactive manner
- Experiential learning will include hands-on learning, arts-integrated and sports-integrated education, story-telling-based pedagogy, among others, as standard pedagogy. Classroom transactions will shift, towards competency-based learning and education
- Students will be given increased flexibility and choice of subjects to study, particularly in secondary school – including subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills
- Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment
- Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language.
- The three-language learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of the students, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India.
- Bagless days will be encouraged throughout the year for various types of enrichment activities involving arts, quizzes, sports, and vocational crafts.
- Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education, with support of educators with cross-disability training, resource centers, accommodations, assistive devices, appropriate technology-based tools, and other support mechanisms tailored to suit their needs. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” 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.