National Education Policy, 2020

(NEP 2020)
Education policies are an important aspect of a country in terms of growth and advancement. Each country designs a different education policy which they believe will utilize their resources to the maximum and lead to a brighter future of the country by paving the most efficient path for the future generation.
A few minor changes to the education policy take place from time to time with new discoveries in various fields. It is important to update the education policy so that the future generation can focus on the things that are of greater importance at present or in the time to come instead of focusing on the lesser important aspects that will be of no relevance in the future.
A recent change has been made by India in its education policy, but it wasn’t done overnight. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was one of the many promises of Bhartiya Janta Party to make changes to the education policy of India. Since then the groundwork was laid and great efforts have been put into it and in May 2016, the report of the new education policy was submitted by the Committee for the Evolution of the New Education Policy.
To stay true to their promise of a new education policy, in June 2017, The Committee for the Draft National Education Policy was formed with Dr. K Kasturirangan as the chairman who reviewed the report and on 31st May, 2019 the Draft National Education Policy was submitted by the committee to the newly appointed Minister of Education, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal.
After the final review of the policy, the policy was forwarded by the Education Minister and on 29th July,2020 the Union Cabinet approved the policy. Noticeably, this is the third NEP to have been approved by the Cabinet since the dawn of time. The first came in 1968 and the second in 1986. 
According to the wordings of the policy documents, the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) aims at producing engaged, productive and contributing citizens for building an equitable, inclusive and plural society and making India a knowledge superpower all around the globe.
The NEP 2020 replaces the current 10+2 system by a new 5+3+3+4 structure of school education covering children from ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 respectively. To understand it better, let us put it this way,
    • The Foundational Stage: It covers ages 3-8 with 3 years of anganwadi and 2 years of primary school (i.e. Class 1 and Class 2).
    • The Preparatory Stage: It covers ages 8-11 with 3 years of school (i.e., Class 3, 4 & 5).
    • The Middle Stage: It covers ages 11-14 with 3 years of school (i.e., Class 6, 7 & 8).
    • The Secondary Stage: It covers ages 14-18 with 4 years of school (i.e., Class 9, 10, 11 & 12).
This brings the age group of 3-6 under formal schooling which is widely considered as a critical stage for the mental development of children.
In school education, the policy focuses on making the board examinations easy by reducing the syllabus and keeping only the core essentials so as to test core competencies, critical thinking and analysis based learning rather than memorized learning. 
Apart from that, all students will now be permitted to take the board examinations twice (i.e., once for the main boards examination and once for improvement examination).
  • There will be no rigid separation among academic, extracurricular, curricular and vocational streams.
  • In the middle stage, vocational education is made compulsory and the students can opt for internships as well.
  • In the secondary stage, students can now opt for subjects they wish to study.
  •  After the implementation of NEP, there will be school exams held in classes 3, 5 & 8 that must be taken by the students of the following classes. This is to ensure that the students are learning the lessons being taught throughout the schooling period rather than simply focusing on the study material at the end of schooling period.
  • All teaching happening up to at least class 5 should be in either mother tongue or regional language and no language shall be imposed on any student.
  • A three language system has been formulated based on region, state and choice of the student. One of the languages is Sanskrit, the other being any one of the classical languages of India (Persian, Telugu, Kannada and so on.) and the third being a foreign language (Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish and so on).
  • A common ground for higher education known as Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up which will function as a single unit for the entire higher education sector excluding legal and medical education. 
  • Academic Bank Of Credits (ABC) will be established which will store the academic credits earned by students from various recognised Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and will also facilitate the transfer of credits if a student changes institutes. All of the above will be done digitally.
  • The duration of the undergraduate program will now be either 3 years or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification will be done for those students who opt to drop out at a certain point in their ongoing course.
  • Furthermore, MPhil courses and programs will be discontinued. The current batch undertaking the course will be the last batch.
  • National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) is to be set up which will act as the single main regulator for the higher education sector. The NHERC will also include teacher education but will exclude legal and medical education.
  • Over the course of 15 years, the practise of affiliation of colleges will be ruled out and every college must transform either to a constituent college of a university or to an autonomous degree granting college.    
  • The Gross Enrollment Ratio in Higher Education in India is 26.3% as of present. With the introduction of NEP 2020, the Gross Enrollment Ratio in Higher Education is to be raised to 50% by the year 2035.
  • The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) is to be set up by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in accordance with the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) to transform education and improve the skills of teachers.
  • Four years integrated BEd programme scholarships will be set up across the country and Teacher Eligibility Tests (TETs) will be made stronger in order to build better test materials. All of the above will be taken into consideration for the teacher recruitment process.
  • To improve the skills and knowledge of the teachers, various local, national and international workshops will be conducted where the teachers will devote at least 50 hours in a year to such professional development.  
  • The NEP 2020 states that by 2030, the minimum qualification for teaching will be a 4 year integrated BEd degree. However, for those who already possess a bachelors or a masters degree, there will be different requirements.
The NEP 2020 surely aims at transforming and creating a strong and dynamic education system in India. With the changes in education policy at various stages, students now have the ease to select what they want to study and for how long they wish to study with multiple entry and exit options. Emphasis on research, critical thinking and analysis based learning rather than bookish knowledge is a key factor that will pique the interest of the students which will lead to increased productivity and overall growth of the institution. 
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By shristi | Updated on Tue, September 29, 2020 - 10:45:44 AM

Tags Education policy 2020