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National Education Policy: The Silver Lining

The long wait for transformation in the education system of India is over with the new National Education Policy, 2020. On 29th July 2020, the Union Cabinet of India revamped the 34-year old policy of the country, giving the country a new hope of a better future.

What are the amendments made in the new education policy? How will it affect the students? Is it good for the future of Indian students?

National Education Policy

NEP is an encyclopaedic substructure of the education system of the country. The education sector of India was clapped-out; for a long time, the Indian government was planning to make some crucial amendments. This policy is the third major revamp of education substructure in India since independence. Before this, the two major revamps in this field was done in 1968 and 1986.

The long-awaited National Education Policy was approved by the union cabinet. Also the “Ministry of Human Resources and Development” is renamed; as “Ministry of Education“. NEP aim of government through this new, revised policy is to make ‘India a global knowledge superpower.’

The policy is announced when all the educational institutions in the country have been closed for months due to the global pandemic. The policy has long been in discussion; last year a 500-pages draft of this policy was introduced. After trimming that the final one is approved by the union cabinet this year.

Salient Features of NEP

NEP has done a great modification in both school and higher education. With the Universalisation of education, India aims it’s school education to have 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio by 2030.

School

Before the new National Education Policy, the system of school learning in India was of 10+2 format. In the NEP 2020, it is transformed and now it will be replaced by 5+3+3+4 format for the age group 3-18, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.

The distribution of curricular and Pedagogical structure before and after NEP 2020

This is one of the most important modifications which the Indian education system was in dire need of. In the previous distribution; there was no defined curriculum for pre-schooling of children. By introducing the new format, there would be a defined curriculum for children of age group, 3-6 years. This age is very crucial for the mental development of the child, which in the previous NEP of 1986, completely skipped.

  • The student of grade 10th and 12th will be allowed to take Board Examinations twice, which will make the exams easy for them.
  • There would be a third party accreditation, which would monitor the quality of pedagogy in public and private schools.
  • Students from class 6th will be introduced to vocational education and internships.
  • NEP will be emphasizing on understanding the concept and not just learning it.

Higher Education

  • The Gross Enrolment Ratio, for higher-education of the country, is aimed to increase by 50%, by 2035. Currently, it is 26.3%.
  • 35 million more seats will be added.
  • The undergraduate courses will be pliable, with multiple exit options. By this, students will be free for studying any subject they want and can also change it by their choice at any time.

Apart from these NEP will be introducing a commission; Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) which will be monitoring all the public and private Higher-education institutes. This commission will be divide into four independent verticals, which will ensure quality in all the institutes all over the country.

The concerned ministry is planning to revise and pass the National Curriculum Framework for Teaching Education (NCFTE). Which means that the government is just not ensuring quality pedagogy for students but also for teachers, which would be a remarkable step for a better quality of teachers in the country.

The government have aimed to make children skilled and ready for the world. Digitalisation is also being promoted, for reaching children in the most remote places of the country.

NEP does not extend the Right To Education age limit from 6-14 years to 3-18 years, which was in the last year’s Draft policy. Not having official Right to Education at the early stage i.e. 3-6 have proven to be a big drawback of the previous National Education Policy; despite that, it is not added in the new, revamped NEP.

The silver lining

The government have taken a historic step that gives hope of better education opportunities to students in the country. But this policy should have been introduced long before, it might have saved many lives from being lost in the darkness.

NEP would require strenuous efforts from the part of the government, institutions, parents, and students. Changing the way of delivering and receiving knowledge which everyone has been accustomed to for decades will surely, not be easy. It would take years for the country to be accustom to the new norms; especially seeing the current pandemic situation it would be arduous.

There are a few cons of the NEP, but looking at the pros; it is good to take the step now than delaying it anymore. Change always comes at a cost, but to this everyone is happy to pay the price because this change is for something better.

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