This Article is submitted by –
Shivika Chadha, third year law student pursuing BBA.,LL.B at Symbiosis Law School, Noida
Almost since the past 34 years our country has been under the clutches of a stringent education system, which has hampered the growth of many. This step towards a New Education Policy is build upon the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability and shall prove to be efficient enough to change the Rote System of education and bring out a more practical way of teaching and learning.
The entire concept of building a Holistic education approach took shape back in May, 2016 when the‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the authority of T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted a report.
Later in June, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan, a ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was formed, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019.
After the 2019, Lok Sabha elections this draft was made public and opened for feedback and reviews.
After due consideration of the opinions and feedbacks of nearly over 2 lakh out of 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts, the NEP,2020 took shape.
Key Elements of the Policy
The New Education Policy, 2020 is based on 5+3+3+4 structure of education, thus the key highlights of the same shall be discussed under two heads.
The major changes that can be seen at the school level are-
- Universality of Education– Each child under this policy would be given an equal chance of education at all levels, from pre-school to secondary.
- New pedagogical structure- The main aim behind the same is to remove the entire essence of competition and the subsequent “Rat Race”, thereby replacing the 10+2 boards system with the 5+3+3+4 system, which means that the school structure, now would mean upto class 5 would be pre-school, from class 6-8 would be middle school, from class 9-11 would be high school and 4 years after that would be devoted to graduation.
- Reforms- NCERT will now be pressuring a curriculum for children upto the age of 8 years, Vocational education will also start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships, Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extracurricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
- Assessment reforms – All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority and Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
- Step towards Inclusive Education- Special attention has been given to the underprivileged classes and the main aim is to provide an opportunity of education to all such classes through various steps like establishing “Bal Bhavans” in every state/district, use of free school infrastructure as Samajik Chetna Kendras.
- Accreditation– States/UTs will set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA), The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.
- Holistic Multidisciplinary Education- This policy brings flexibility to the curriculum and integrates the vocational education with the old school teaching. Moreover, it brings with it various entry and exit points for students with appropriate certification. A New umbrella regulator for all higher educationexcept medical and legal courses.
- Increase GER- The main aim is to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
- Open and distance learning– This shall contribute to increasing the enrolment ratio and give an opportunity to more students to get education as per their convenience.
- Technological Developments- Online mode of education will be expanded and given more importance. A comprehensive set of recommendations for promoting online education consequent to the pandemic in order to ensure preparedness has been covered.
- Adult literacy– The policy aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.
- Economic angle- Both the state and government will together towards increasing investment in the educational sector to reach a goal of 6% of GDP, at the earliest.
- Rules for teachers– The Phil degree will be abolished.
Other Key Elements
- Language has often posed a problem in the old school method of teaching learning as Hindi has been a compulsory language since the time time the old education reform took place. The new policy removes this constraint and brings forth a rule that no compulsory language shall be imposed on any state.
- Preferably until class 8 emphasis shall be given on use of mother-tongue and the same shall be applied to both private and public schools.
- A new curriculum for pre-school and anganwadi’s shall be made
- Indian knowledge systems, including tribal and indigenous knowledge, will also be incorporated into the curriculum in an accurate and scientific manner.
Implementation and consequences
As we know, education is a matter covered under the Concurrent List. Thus, the entire implementation of this policy is state based. Over the past years, each state has had a different board for education. Thus, the states would have to be bought on board with this policy so that they make the necessary changes in this system and adopt a new common holistic approach. However, this for obvious reasons is a tedious process and thus, could take some time.
A step towards a better India
As mentioned above, the old educational policy has been in force for many and has posed numerous problems for many generations. India, has seen an upsurge in then educational competition over a decade or so and it has led to many suicides and other mental disturbances among students. Moreover, with the prior system the students had to stick to the elective subjects in classes 11 and 12, which had them stuck in at least one or two subjects. In the past few years, the trend of international education amongst Indian students has seen a significant rise, due to flexible and wider scope of international education. This new step shall resolve all such drawbacks and make India a preferred destination for education for both Indian as well as foreign students.
For a country like ours, this surely is a landmark step taken in the right decision and once implemented it shall bring the best results forwards and make “India a global knowledge superpower.”
“The views of the authors are personal“