How the NEP affects our education systems!
Over the past few decades, our country has seen many developmental changes with respect to the education system. Multiple measures have been undertaken to improve the quality of education and make it more inclusive towards the rising need of the modern world.
With an aim to improve education, the Indian government has executed many new educational policies, the NEP (National Education Policy) 2020 being one of the most recent additions.
To explain in brief, the New Education Policy is a structured framework that has been created to bring about a transformation in the education system. It is a replacement for the previous policy that was formulated in 1986. The NEP 2020 at its core has the holistic development of students by ensuring a more flexible and inclusive approach towards education. It is seeking to create new opportunities for those in the field of education while ensuring that every Indian child has access to high-quality and equal education.
How will the NEP 2020 impact the education of children?
- With application of the NEP 2020, a new approach towards education will be undertaken where there will be an emphasis on holistic education. What is a holistic education system? – A system where equal attention is paid towards social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
- One of the highlights of the NEP 2020 is to restructure the current 10+2 structure of schooling to a more diverse structure of 5 (preschool & kindergarten) + 3 (Primary) + 3 (Secondary) + 4 (Higher Secondary)
- The policy also demands a restructure in the examination system by directing that exams should be conducted only for 3rd, 5th & 8th grade students. However, the board examination structure for std. 10th & std. 12th students will remain the same
- PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) which is a new national assessment platform that will be set up by the authorities. It will assess students’ learning and help them to analyze their strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and potentials
- The policy also motivates the system towards a multidisciplinary approach to education, allowing students to choose subjects across different streams and promoting flexibility in the choice of courses and subjects. This permits students to personalize their education based on their interests and strengths.
- The policy also highlights the need of integrating vocational education in addition to the traditional methods of mainstream education. Schools and Colleges are urged to join forces with local industries and businesses to provide practical training opportunities to students. This can help bridge the gap between education and industry requirements by incorporating industry-relevant skills and knowledge into the curriculum which are a need of the hour in the pandemic world
- Through the policy, the government also aims at promoting e-learning and the adaptation of technology in education via online learning platforms and usage of digital tools. This can help create an interactive learning environment that can help improve conceptual understanding and make learning more interesting
- With respect to Higher Education Institutes, Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education
- Higher education will receive flexibility in subjects. There will be multiple entry points and exit points for all students. An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned
- NEP 2020 also focuses on enhancing the quality of teachers through improved teacher training programs, professional development opportunities, and the establishment of a National Mission for Mentoring
- To ensure quality educators, by 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
- The policy also emphasizes the protection and promotion of Indian languages, aiming to ensure proficiency in at least one language other than the mother tongue
While the NEP 2020 is wholesome in its approach to reform the education system in the country, it does raise a few concerns as well. One of the visible drawbacks of the policy is a lack of implementation framework. There is no clear definition as to necessary processes that are being set up in order to see this to fruition. Although the policy calls for major investments in the education system, such as the construction of new schools, hiring additional teachers, and the introduction of new technology and teaching methods, the lack of concrete plans for funding can indeed pose challenges for schools and teachers.
On a whole, the policy as drafted shows immense promise for the future of education in India and aims to achieve 100% youth & adult literacy in our nation.