The National Education Policy (NEP 2020)was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29th July 2020 which outlines the vision of India’s new education system.This new education policy 2020 replaces the previous National Policy on Education,1986.The policy is a comprehensive framework for elementary to higher education and vocational training in both rural and urban India.
The policy aims to change India’s education system by 2040.The policy states that no one will be forced to study any particular language and the medium of instruction will not be shifted from English to any regional language.The language policy in NEP is a broad guideline and is advisory in nature and it is upto the states,institutions and schools to include and implement it.
The National Education Policy has a vision.It is the presence of an India-centric education system that contributes directly to changing our nation sustainably in an equitable and vibrant knowledge-based society by giving high-quality education to all.
The NEP 2020 enacts many changes in India’s education policy.It aims to increase state expenditure on education from around 4% to 6% of the GDP as soon as possible.
The changes and objectives of the National Education Policy are:-
The policy raises the importance of mother tongue and regional languages.The medium of instruction till class 5 and preferably beyond should be in these languages.Sanskrit and foreign languages should also be given importance.The policy also states that no language will be imposed on the students.
The government has clarified that the language policy in NEP is a broad guideline and it is up to the states,institutions and schools to decide the implementation.
A more detailed language strategy will be released in the National Curriculum Framework in 2021.There were institutions already which had implemented this language policy 60 years ago like Sardar Patel Vidyalaya.The Education Policy of 1986 and the Right to Education Act,2009 promoted usage of the mother tongue too as an advisory guideline.
The ‘10+2’ structure will be replaced by the ‘5+3+3+4’ model.The implementation of it will be as such-
It is further subdivided into two parts:-3 years of preschool or ‘anganwadi’ followed by classes 1 and 2 in primary school.This will cover children between ages of 3-8 years.Here the focus of study will be activity-based learning.
This will comprise of classes of 3 to 5 which will cover the ages of 8-11 years.It will gradually introduce subjects like speaking, reading, writing, physical education, languages, art, science, mathematics.
This will cover classes 9 to 12 covering the ages of 14-19 years. It is again subdivided into two parts-classes 9 and 10 covering the first phase while classes 11 and 12 covering the second phase.These 4 years of study are intended to inculcate multidisciplinary study,along with depth and critical thinking.Here multiple options of subjects are provided.
4. Instead of exams being held every academic year,school students will only answer 3 exams,in classes 3,5 and 8.
5. Board exams will continue to be held for classes 10 and 12 but will be re-designed.The standards for this will be established by an assessment body,PARAKH.To make their task easier,these exams will be conducted twice a year with students being given up to 2 attempts. The exam will have two parts,the objective and the descriptive.
6. This policy aims at reducing the load of curriculum of students and allows them to be more interdisciplinary and multi-lingual. For example,if a student wants to pursue fashion design with physics or if one wants to learn bakery with chemistry they will be allowed to do so.Report cards will be holistic giving information about the skill of the students.
7. Coding will be introduced from class 6 and experiential learning will be adopted.
8. The Midday Meal Scheme will be extended to include breakfasts.The focus will be given to student’s health,specially mental health through the help of counsellors and social workers.
It puts forward a multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree in an undergraduate program with many exit options.These will include professional and vocational areas and will be implemented as under
1.A certificate after completing 1 year of study.
2.A diploma after completing 2 years of study.
3.A Bachelor’s degree after completion of a 3 year program.
4.MPhil(Masters of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued to give space to degree education according to the Western models.
A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education.The council’s goal will be to increase gross enrollment ratio.The HECI will have 4 verticals
1.National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) to regulate higher education including teacher education while excluding medical and legal education.
2.National Accreditation Council(NAC)a ‘meta-accrediting body’.
3.Higher Education Grants Council(HEGC) for funding and financing of universities and colleges.It will replace the existing National Council for Teacher Education,All India Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission.
4.General Education Council(GEC) to frame ‘graduate attributes’ namely the expected learning outcomes.It will also be responsible in framing a National Higher Education Qualification Framework(NHEQF).The National Council for Teacher Education will come under the GEC as a professional standard setting body (PSSB).
Other PSSBs will include professional councils such as Veterinary Council of India, Council of Architecture,Indian Council of Agricultural Research and National Council for Vocational Education and Training.
The National Testing Agency will now be given the additional responsibility of conducting entrance examinations for admissions to universities across the country in addition to the JEE Main and NEFT.
The policy proposes to internationalize education in India.
The fees of both private and public universities will be fixed.The foreign universities can now set up campuses in India.
NEP 2020 puts forward many policy changes when it is about being a teacher and teacher education.To become a teacher a 4 year Bachelor of Education is the minimum requirement needed by 2030.
The teacher recruitment process will also be strengthened and made transparent.The National Council for Teacher Education will frame a National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education by 2021 and a National Professional Standards for Teachers by 2022.
The policy aims to ensure that all students at all levels of school education are taught by passionate, motivated, highly qualified ,professionally trained and well-equipped teachers.The new rules for teachers in India makes sure that the teaching process in unbiased, free flowing, balanced and learning-oriented helping each student equally and strengthening their bases to let them learn advanced concepts easily and with dedication.
Under NEP 2020, many new educational institutes,bodies and concepts have been given legislative permission to be formed.These include
1.National Education Commission headed by the Prime Minister of India
2.Academic Bank of Credit,a digital storage of credits earned to help resume education by using credits for further education.
3.National Research Foundation to improve research and innovation.
4.Special Education Zones to focus on the education of underrepresented groups in disadvantaged regions.
5.Gender Inclusion Fund for helping the nation in the education of female and transgender children.
6.National Educational Technology Forum, a platform to facilitate exchange of ideas on technology usage to improve learning.
7.The policy proposes new language institutions like the Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation and the National institute for Pali,Persian and Prakrit.Other bodies include the National Mission for Mentoring,National Book Promotion Policy,National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.