Key Things Regarding National Education Policy 2020
In 2020, Union Cabinet cleared a new national education policy proposing numerous secondary and higher secondary education changes all over India. National Education Policy or in short NEP is the central framework behind the county's development of education.
Long ago in 1964, the government was criticized for not having a vision and a goal for the education sector. In that year a 17 member education commission was created, headed by UGC chairperson D S Kothari. As a result, a new education policy was issued.
In 1968 this policy got passed in Parliament.
A newly issued NEP gets published every few decades. Our country has witnessed three education policies till now. The first was published in 1968, then in the year 1986. This was revised in 1992 under the leadership of PM P V Narasimha Rao.
The newly proposed National Education Policy happened under the government of Narendra Modi in 2020.
What Are The Main Focus Areas?
The new NEP proposes to change a lot of things in the school and higher secondary education and college education. According to many sources, this new NEP aims to make "India a global knowledge superpower".
Changes Proposed In School Education:
- Almost two crore children, who are out of school, will be back in mainstream education through a model named Open Schooling System.
- Universalization from pre-school to secondary level will happen with a record of 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) in school education by 2030.
- The current education hierarchy, which is the 10+2 system, will be replaced by the 5+3+3+4 structure. The reason behind this is the children of the respective age group, like 3-8. 8-11, 11-14, 14-18.
This particular agenda is a massive step towards the revolution of education. Also, this structure is perfect for children under the age group 3-6. The right education in the right direction in this age group is crucial for the children's overall development.
- One of the essential steps is that the class 10th and 12th exams will be made easier. This is happening to test the students' core knowledge rather than memorizing facts that are often unnecessary in the future.
- More importance is set to be given to basic literacy and numeracy.
- There will be no distinct separation between extracurricular, vocational, and academic streams.
- Any particular language will not be imposed on any children.
- Education in mother language until latest grade 5.
- Vocational training will take place from grade 6 with internships.
- NCTE will provide a new National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education. By 2030 every teacher must have a four-year integrated B.Ed degree as a minimum qualification.
Changes Proposed In Higher Education:
- An addition of 3 crores students will happen shortly. Current GER is about 26.3%. The gross enrolment ratio is proposed to increase by about 50%.
- Undergraduate education will be holistic, and the course curriculum will be more flexible. A student will have multiple options for exiting during a course with proper certification.
- Undergrad, postgrad and P.HD courses will be interdisciplinary. M.Phil courses will be removed.
- The national research foundation will be created for the sole purpose of building a research culture around higher education all over the country.
- Every college will have to be either an autonomous college or a college of a university. Affiliations of colleges will be removed in 15 years, and a systematic way will be imposed for giving autonomy to some colleges.
- An organization named the Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be created, regulating all things regarding higher education. The exceptions are traditional schools and medical schools.
This HECI will govern all the private and public institutions. The HECI will have four independent bodies. They are-
- 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.
- An assessment center named "Parakh" will be created for the purpose of assessing students nationally.
- This new education policy will also help different foreign universities to open their branches in our country.
- Importance will be given to the public's investment in the educational sector for reaching at least 6% GDP as soon as possible.
- National Educational Technology Forum is to be made to exchange and discuss various ideas on applying modern technology for the betterment of learning, administration, and the overall picture.
- Indian Institute of translation and interpretation will be created.
Higher Education In Respect of Foreign Schools In India:
The policy clearly states that universities ranking in the top 100 in the world will open their campuses in India. But a problem arises in this plan. In 2013, an initiative was taken about this matter.
Reputed Universities like Yale, Bristol, Cambridge, Stanford, MIT, University of Edinburgh have shown no interest in opening their campuses in India. Besides that, it is also unclear from the document that what are the perimeters government is considering while measuring the top 100 universities in the world.
Notable Changes In The Bachelor's Program:
A significant change has been made in the Bachelor's programs. More emphasis is given on the research aspect of the Bachelor's programs. Students will be able to take research degree programs based on how he has performed in the Bachelor's stage.
In the new NEP, students will be able to quit their undergrad program after one year with certification, two years later with a diploma degree and after three years with a bachelor's degree.
Master's programs will also continue to function as they usually do. Students will be able to take the conventional way as well (Master's then Ph.D.)
- This new NEP is mostly focused on the students' holistic development with a significant focus on core learning skills.
- Research-oriented studies will be given significant importance at the graduate and postgraduate levels.
- Overall it is a modern and scientific step towards the development of the education of our country.
- This education policy is directed towards building the practical knowledge of students rather than memorizing theories.