The National Education Policy of 2020 has been constituted by the newly commissioned Ministry of Education. This has given rise to several questions like; What is the National Education Policy? How is NEP going to be implemented? This article gives a prompt glance into NEP and how it is planned to be implemented by the government.
The National Education Policy,2020
This article will deal with the National Education Policy of 2020, by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The policy itself is divided into four parts that are through school education, higher education, other key areas of focus, and the implementation process.
There have been unfinished policies like this before, like the National policy of education 1986, modified in 1992, which has also been dealt with, in this policy. The vital distinction in this policy is that it specifically deals with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education, 2009.
This policy is none other than any other policy seen in India, it is flexible and multidisciplinary. It encourages creative analogy, values which are enshrined under the constitution. The process of learning has been revisited in this policy which is astonishingly new in India. The vision of this policy is to transform India into a “global knowledge superpower.”
School Education under National Education Policy, 2020
It is to be understood that a child’s cumulative brain development happens before the age of six. Keeping that in mind, this whole section has been drafted. It mostly deals with early child care and education (ECCE). It is flexible, vocational, activity-oriented and is basically teaching through various activities, including outdoor, indoor play, problem-solving, puzzle, art, craft, drama and many other likewise activities.
There are two different frameworks that are to be made by the NCERT, specifically dealing with two age brackets namely, zero-three and three-eight. Anganwadis have also been given special attention in this policy by aiming to provide early childhood care and education. It has a wide range of improvements from good infrastructure to child-friendly design.
One of the criteria to become an Anganwadi teacher is to have a Matriculation and Intermediate certificate, and a six-month course in high-quality education. The foundation of the education system of India has been revisited by dividing it into different stages in which education is going to be provided.
To the students up to five years of age, a student will go to Anganwadi, the student will move on to “preparatory class” that is before standard one. It is also to be duly noted that implementation of this early stage of education will be jointly carried out by the Ministry of Human Resource, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare as well as Tribal affairs. All of these departments together will have a separate task force to implement the vision of this policy.
One of the goals which are also highlighted as giving the highest priority to this policy is to work towards a universal, foundational literacy in primary school and beyond by the year 2025. The proportionality of teacher-student is to remain 30:1 to ensure that there is quality level education imparted to the students. Furthermore, a national repository to ensure high standard resources are going to be provided to the national teachers portal.
The futuristic vision of this policy also emphasizes that if every literate member in the society takes up the teaching of even one student, then there will be a drastic transformation and the mission will be easier to accomplish. There has been restructuring of the curriculum of the school itself which has been designed as 5+3+3+4. This has been a very interesting approach. It is designed in a way where it consists of:
- foundation level which comprises of three years of pre-school plus grade 1 and 2
- the preparatory level which basically comprises of grade 3 to grade 5
- the middle level which comprises from grade six to grade 8 and
- last but not the least High school which includes grade 9 to grade 12.
- Now this has been further broken down into two separate brackets, which is 9&10, 11&12
Some of the other highlights of part one of the policy is that great emphasis has been given to the importance of language. It promotes multilingualism and creates a sense of national unity. It primarily emphasises on the fact that until grade 5 of the school, the child will be taught in their own mother tongue or local language, wherever there is a possibility.
Higher Education under National Education Policy, 2020
The second part of the policy deals with Higher Education, which specifically deals with the standard of education provided in university and colleges. It further highlights the importance of a well-rounded holistically developed individual.
The most vital part of this section is to transform the higher education and bring an end to the tyranny of rigidity. It aims at providing a very large multi-disciplinary scheme and also creates a comparison to the Ivy-League, Stanford University, MIT University in The United States today.
Growth will be seen today in both the private and public institutions, ensuring a fair and transparent approach in giving equitable opportunities for public institutions to grow and develop. Programs like the open distance learning and online courses will further be given approval for better access and improved opportunities in the future.
A new regulatory system will come into a place where the existing affiliating university will hold the responsibility to mentor the other affiliated colleges.
By the year 2025, the maximum number of colleges affiliated under one university should not exceed three hundred. Furthermore, another goal has been set that by the year 2025, all colleges currently affiliated to the university shall become degree-granting colleges. All the other affiliations like “deemed to be”, “affiliating university”, “unitary university” shall be replaced by the university.
Further, flexibility can be seen when multiple exit options will be provided for an undergraduate program which will be of either three or four years. A student can get a diploma after the completion of the first year and advanced diploma after two and will get a bachelor’s degree after three years. The four-year option for undergrad students is to ensure that a student gets an opportunity for holistic development.
The Master’s programme shall be for two years in which the second year shall be specifically devoted to “research”. However, this is only for students who will opt for a three-year course in under graduation. The students opting for four years’ undergrad shall require a one-year master’s degree. Options of integrated course for five years are open and M.Phil. has been discontinued.
The public universities will be called the MEERU which means Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities and will be set-up to the like of Ivy League colleges in the U.S.A to reach a global level education.
The faculty will also be given the autonomy to work on the curriculum to make it more learning-based and innovative. Without solely relying on the examination approach a more comprehensive and continuous form of assessment of the students’ progress shall be taken into consideration.
Students who may not have the socio-economic background to take up the courses will be provided with support and help. Career counselling and help will be provided to students all over the country.
Over time there will be funding provided to student-run organisations in the field of research in various subject areas which will be set up by the experts and professionals. The concept of teacher teaching in class will be transformed to them guiding and mentoring students, along their academic goals and holistic development.
Internationalisation is a new concept that has been introduced where the best performing campuses will be allowed to branch out to other countries.
The concept of holistic development has been envisaged by introducing:
- Students actively participating in the functioning of the universities themselves and to ensure that it provides a wholesome development to the students.
- Vocational Training, a comparison to other countries has been made that vocational learning ranges from 52-96% (percent) however, in India it is only 5%(19-25 years of age).
- A single regulator, the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA), will be set up to ensure that these universities shall have proper, transparent and efficient governance.
The policy recommends the creation of a Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA), the apex body for education in India which will be replacing the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE). This body will consist of thirty members, comprising: ministers on a rotation basis from the ministries which are directly affected by this transformation. It will be chaired by the minister of education and will also have eminent persons from arts, science, business, health, agriculture, and social work to ensure that the objective and mission of this policy are duly met.
It is concluded by stating that until 2030 the policy itself will be reviewed, evaluated and mechanisms for implementation shall be applied, after which during 2030-40, the implementation shall take place.
 Right to Education Act, 2009.