When it comes to the knowledge landscape, the world is undergoing rapid changes. With dramatic scientific and technological advances, many unskilled jobs worldwide will likely be taken over by machines in the future – considering the rise of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. This New Education Policy released by MHRD in 2020 will bring new changes.
This will, eventually, increase the demand for an accomplished workforce involving data science, computer science and mathematics in conjunction with social sciences and humanities. Needless to mention, the quickly shifting employment landscape and global ecosystem will ensure that children should not just learn but learn how to learn, how to be creative, to think critically, solve problems and be multidisciplinary and how to adapt, innovate and absorb new things.
Pedagogy must evolve and change to make education more experiential and practical, thus the need for a New Education Policy in the Indian educational system.
What Purpose Does the New Education Policy 2020 Serve?
Launched on 29th July 2020, this new education policy, NEP 2020, is the first education policy of the twenty-first century and aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower” by overhauling the education system. It is a comprehensive framework designed to guide the development of education in India. Such an education policy was first termed in 1964 when the then “Congress MP Siddheshwar Prasad criticised the government for lacking a vision and philosophy for education”. The current NEP replaced the 1986 National Education Policy, which was in place for 34 years.
NEP 2020 proposes sweeping changes in the Indian educational system that includes dismantling of the University Grant Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education, opening up of Indian higher education to foreign universities, discontinuation of the M Phil programme and introduction of a 4-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options. In a significant shift from a “10+2” structure of school education, the new National Education Policy will have a “5+3+3+4” design corresponding to the age groups 14 – 18 years (Secondary), 11 – 14 years (middle), 8 – 11 years (preparatory) and 3 – 8 years (foundational stage).
Phasing out of all colleges, universities and institutions offering single streams, NEP ensures that all educational institutions should become multidisciplinary by 2040.
NEP 2020 Highlights – Major Changes in School and Higher Education
The newly approved NEP aims at paving way for transformational reforms in school and higher education sector in the country. The government is expecting to introduce NEP 2020 before the new session kicks in. Let’s understand the major changes and highlights of the National Education Policy 2020 that will be implemented in the upcoming session.
- School Complexes to Be Used for Adult Education Courses: As per the new education policy 2020, school complexes will be used for adult education courses beyond school hours. Particularly, public library spaces are Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-equipped when possible and for other activities.
- Focus on Vocational Studies: It is expected that by 2025, a minimum of 50% of students will have exposure to vocational education. Sampling of various vocation crafts, such as pottery making, gardening work, metalwork, electric work, carpentry, etc. will be introduced during Grades 6 – 8 as decided by states and local communities. To make it more effective, students will have a 10-day bagless period to intern with local vocational experts including artists, gardeners, potters, carpenters, etc. Moreover, students belonging to Grades 6 – 12 will go through a similar internship opportunity to learn vocational subjects. They will also learn vocation courses through online mode.
- High-Quality Modules for Indian Sign Language: Formerly National Open School, the National Institute of Open Schooling, NIOS, will design international standard modules to teach Indian Sign Language and other basic subjects using ISL.
- Kendriya Vidyalayas to Have Pre-School Section: All primary schools including Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country will have compulsory pre-school sections. These sections are aimed at covering one year (at least) of early childhood care and education. The government will make sure that it has effectively been implemented particularly in deprived areas.
- NCC Wings in Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools: Good news for all defence aspirants! Under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence, all the Secondary, as well as Higher Secondary schools, will have NCC wings, including in schools located in the rural, tribal-dominated areas.
- Free Boarding Facilities: Students who come from socio-economically underprivileged and downtrodden backgrounds will avail of free boarding facilities, matching the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) standards.
- Dedicated Unit to look after e-Education Needs: Both for school and higher education, MHRD will create a dedicated unit that will not only impart online education but also take care of the digital content, digital infrastructure and capacity building.
- SC/ ST Students to Benefit from National Scholarship Portal: Although it is an existing plan, efforts will be made to expand the National Scholarship Portal to help, foster and track the progress of SC, ST and OBC students receiving scholarships.
- 4-Year Integrated B. Ed. Degree for Teaching: A 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree will be the minimum academic qualification for teaching. By 2030, the teaching aspirants should meet the prescribed educational requirement to become a teacher. The NCTE in consultation with NCERT will formulate a new National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education.
- HECI to Regulate Higher Education: High Education Commission of India will be formed to regulate the entire higher education. It will have 4 independent verticals – National Accreditation Council (NAC), Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), General Education Council (GEC) and National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC). However, medical and legal education will not come under it.
- Bal Bhavans for Children with Physical Disabilities: To help and encourage children with disabilities to participate in the regular schooling process, NEP 2020 will ensure complete support of educators and trainers with technology-based tools, cross-disability training, assistive devices, accommodations and other support mechanisms as per their requirements. These facilities for physically challenged children are available from the foundational stage to higher education. Furthermore, “Bal Bhavans” (daytime boarding school) will be set up by every district/ state to take part in art-related, play-related and career-related activities.
- 6% of GDP in the Education Sector: Education must get 6% of GDP, not the present 1.7%. Subramanian Swamy, Rajya Sabha MP stated in a tweet, “I welcome the new Education Policy of the Modi government. I had a discussion with the MoHD earlier which I had tweeted. My suggestion was the Education must get 6% of GDP not the present 1.7%. This has been accepted in the new Policy. My congrats.”
- 10 Bag-less Days: To encourage students to participate in various types of enrichment activities, bag-less days will be implemented throughout the year. Students will have a good time indulging in vocational crafts, quizzes, arts, sports, etc.
- 3-Language Formula: Three languages – Hindi, English and the mother tongue of the student – will however be optional. It is up to the choices of the states as well as the students whether to learn three languages. Nonetheless, 2 of the 3 languages are native to the country.
- Mother Tongue to be Medium of Instruction: As per the newly formulated NEP, students until Grade 5 will follow the home language as the medium of instruction. It may preferably be applied until Grade 8.
- ISL to be standardised: Indian Sign Language, commonly called ISL, will be standardised throughout the country.
- Flexibility to Choose Subjects: When it comes to picking streams, students will enjoy the choice of subjects, including vocational skills, arts and crafts and physical education to study. In addition to these subjects, mathematics, humanities and sciences will be added to the school curriculum.
- Experiential Learning in All Stages: Sports-integrated and arts-integrated education, hands-on learning, story-telling-based pedagogy, etc. are experiential-based education that will be incorporated in all stages. Also, classroom-based education will shift towards competency-based learning.
Click Here – MHRD New Education Policy Download
Will New Policy Compulsorily Be Performed?
The reforms proposed by the New Education Policy are not mandatory to follow. The implementation of these reforms is only possible when the states and the Centre come together and act collaboratively. This is a time-consuming process and sufficient funding is important, hence 2040 is the set target for the government to accomplish the entire policy.
Subject-wise committees will be set up to carry out the task smoothly. Multiple bodies, including the Central Advisory Board of Education, School Boards, HRD Ministry, National Testing Agency, NCERT, etc. will accomplish certain plans. Moreover, certain proposals need legal attention.