Author: - Nandini Srivastava
3rd Year B.A. LL.B (Hons.)
Manipal University, Jaipur
The Union Ministry of Education formerly known as Human Resources Development Ministry on 29th July 2020 released a new education policy. The policy is called the New Education Policy, 2020 and was brought to make “India a global knowledge superpower”.
The key changes mentioned under these policies are as follows:
- HIGHER EDUCATION
- The current Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) is just 26.3%. With the introduction of this education policy, the government aims to raise the GER by 50% until 2035 in higher education. It aims to add 3.5 crore seats in higher education.
- Multiple entries and exit options will be given to students who are pursuing an undergraduate course. Certification for the same shall also be provided accordingly. After completion of one year, a certificate will be given, after 2 years a diploma will be given and a degree at the end will be provided to the students. This will ensure that any student who had to leave his studies in between due to some reason gets a chance to return and resume his education from where he left instead of starting
- The government will establish an Academic Bank of Credit. In this, it will digitally store all the academic credits of all the higher education institutions. This will benefit the student as it could be transferred from one institute to another and could be counted in the final degree.
- Higher Education Commission of India will set up a single body for regulating all the higher educational institutions except the legal and medical institutions. It will have four independent verticals called National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC), General Education Council (GEC), Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), and National Accreditation Council (NAC) for regulation, standard-setting, funding and accreditation respectively.
- One common entrance exam for admission to higher educational institutions. The National Testing Agency will offer twice a year a common aptitude test as well as common specialised subjects in exams in science, arts, humanities and vocational subjects for entrances.
- Undergraduate, postgraduate and PHD courses to become multidisciplinary. It will now include major and minor programmes. For example, a person can pursue a major in biology and pursue fashion designing as a minor.
- Phil courses will be discontinued.
- A body called the National Research Foundation will be set up to strengthen the research culture and capacity among the students learning in higher education institutions.
- The system of affiliation to be phased out in 15 years. The government will set up a stage-wise mechanism through which it will grant autonomy to the colleges so that they could give a degree to the colleges independently.
- SCHOOL EDUCATION
- The present system of 10+2 will no longer continue. It will be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure. The structure will be:
- Foundational Stage:
This stage includes two stages. First, the preschool stage of three years and second is primary schooling consisting of class 1 and 2. Together, both the stages will cover the children of age group 3 to 8.
- Preparatory Stage (Grade 3 – 5) :
This stage will include children of 8 to 11 years. They will be taught science, mathematics, social science, arts and humanities.
- Middle Stage ( Grade 6 – 8)
Along with the necessary subjects, coding and vocational subjects like pottery, carpentry etc. will be introduced. The concept of internships will also be introduced from class 6th.
- Secondary Stage (Grade 9 – 12)
This stage comprises two phases. First is 9th and 10th and the second is 11th and 12th. The students will also be given the option to exit in class 10th and re-enter later in class 11th. In this phase, greater emphasis will be given on critical thinking.
- Students will take school examinations in class 3rd, 5th and 8th which will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
- Though the concept of board exams for class 10th and 12th will continue it will be made easier. The aim of the exam will now be to test the abilities of the students and not information retaining power that is memorisation of the students. In future, the body conducting board exams may also adopt different models of board exams such as annual, semester or modular offering exams in two parts; one objective and the other one descriptive.
- Progress cards given out to students in schools will be redesigned. It will provide a multidimensional report of the concerned student. It will cover the progress of the concerned student in the domain of psychomotor, cognitive and affective. The progress card will also include self – assessment, peer assessment and assessment done by the teachers of the concerned student.
- The medium of instruction till class 5 and preferably till 8th will be mother tongue/ regional language.
- There will no longer be a rigid separation between the academic streams that is Science, Commerce and Humanities. No watertight separation in extracurricular Like a student who has opted for biology can also study history.
- A new National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE), 2021 will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- Through this policy, the government aims to attain 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio by the year 2030 in school education.
- A national assessment centre called ‘PARAKH’ will be created which will assess the performance of the students.
- This policy has also enabled foreign universities to open their campuses in India as well.
- National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit and Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation will now also be set up.
- It has directed to set up the Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for people who belong to disadvantaged regions or groups.
- Currently, India only spends 4.6% of its GDP in the education sector but this policy aims to increase its expenditure to 6% of the GDP at earliest.
- This policy aims to enhance practical learning of students by providing them opportunities to learn various vocational skills like pottery and carpentry but will the institutions be able to employ teachers who can train students. At the same time, this feature of vocational training might be applicable in private institutions but have the government thinking on how it will implement the same in government schools where there is lack of resources and heavy crowds.
- It is widely appreciated that the government has emphasised on the use of mother tongue or local regional language as a medium of instruction but no one can disagree on the fact that this will adversely affect the English communication skills of the child. The English language cannot be ignored because everyone is aware of how important this language is in today’s time. Educational institutions, as well as employers, prefer those candidates who have a good grip over the English language in comparison to those who are not so familiar with this language.
- Internship teaches a person many skills. It would be great that children can learn those skills and attain real-world work experiences at such a young age but in a country where the crime rate is so high will it be safe to send kids of such small age to work at a place with many unknown people.
- Every student should be allowed to learn the subject of his interest. No one should be bound by subjects. The decision of not making rigid separation streams though is impeccable yet much notice must be given to its relevance. A student who is learning physical and history together might enjoy this combination but in the long run, this subject combination might not turn out to be fruitful.
After 34 years a new education policy has been enacted. People have given mixed reactions. Some are of the view that this policy will guide India towards a new road of development whereas some believe it to be not that fruitful. The debate on this policy can go on and on but no way can ascertain its effects till it is implemented.
- National Education Policy, 2020 Drishti IAS, https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/national-education-policy-2020.
- National Education Policy 2020: Here’s All You Need to Know Google, https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thequint.com/amp/story/news/education/here-is-all-you-need-to-know-about-national-education-policy-2020.
- 15 key highlights of the new National Education Policy Pratidin Time, https://www.pratidintime.com/15-key-highlights-of-new-national-education-policy/.