New Education Policy, 2020: A Step Towards Digital Generation

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The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 today, making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. The new policy aims to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country. This policy will replace the 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the thirty-four-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student

 

  • What is NEP's 5+3+3+4 format to replace 10+2?

One of the salient features of the new National Education Policy is shifting from decades-old 10+2 format to 5+3+3+4 keeping in mind a child's development and capabilities. The new NEP replaces the rules framed in 1986 and restructures school and higher education to make more flexible and with an integrated approach.

  • What does 5+3+3+4 mean?

The new NEP has replaced school education 10+2 format with 5+3+3+4. Here's how school education will be approached according to the new and reformed education policy:

  • New school assessment scheme

The new school assessment scheme will come in place from 2022-2023. As per the new assessment scheme, school exams in grades 3, 5, and 8 will test the child's basic learning with a 360-degree progress report card. The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literature of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. Students to participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.

  • Online Education and Digital Education:

The NEP 2020 aims at promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit to orchestrate the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.

 

Key Points of New Educational Policy 2020:  

School Education 

  • New Policy aims for universalization of education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030. 

  • NEP 2020 will bring 2 crores out of school children back into the mainstream through the open schooling system.

  • The current 10+2 system to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for the development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling.

  • Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools; Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships

  • Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.

  • Assessment reforms with 360-degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes

Higher Education

    • Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.

    • The policy envisages broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education, and multiple entries and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.

    • Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits

    • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

    • The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

    • Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have four independent verticals - National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard-setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.

    • Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over some time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College or a constituent college of a university.

  • An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.

  • NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups

  • The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.