The New National Education Policy made us wait for the last 34 years. It was in 1986 that the present curriculum came into existence. In Indian politics, the subject of education has mostly remained at the back foot because it wasn’t vote fetching. Why should one think about the children who aren’t even eligible to vote might be the understanding for the politicians sitting in our Parliament. BJP had this change for policy in their manifesto since 2014.
Last, in 2015, there were certain recommendations made, but no heap was worth the education as already legislators has done enough by introducing Art 21-A as a fundamental right. Yes, it did show an increase in the literacy rate from 60% to 74% now. In a country where going to school is a privilege, then who thinks about what educational form it is in. Thankfully ISRO ex-chief K Kasturirangan led an expert panel and prepared the long due new education policy.
This educational policy is perfect in it’ entirety keeping the ongoing requirement of our country in one hand and balancing with the practice of the world. The focus is holistic, as it gives equal weightage to academic, vocational training and then extra-curriculars. The idea is to focus on developing skill in the area of interest of the children so that sooner when they leave school, they are prepared for the world out there.
Let us learn what kind of segregation and changes the policy has brought: -
Changes to the pattern in School Education
Foremost the curriculum that existed in 10+2 form is to be replaced with 5+3+3+4 pattern. That is 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 school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
Option for teaching in mother till standard 6th specifically and can be extended to Class 8th.
Teach coding from 6th standard. It was practised in China for long and now you can see the level of development they have reached.
360-degree Holistic Progress Card of Child covering the practical – academic and what not.
Changes to the pattern in Higher Secondary Education
For example: There will be no division as before into Science, Commerce and Humanities stream. All the options will be available to the higher secondary students. They can create their own combination for subjects and take up for the term.
Language - 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 literatures of India shall be available as options.
Academic Bank of Credits shall be created wherein a student can take a sabbatical for a year or so and return to join where he/she left.
Internship programme shall be promoted from 6th standard onwards.
Under-graduate or post graduate programmes shall be made flexible with multiple exit and entry options.
- Undergraduate Programme – 3 or 4 year
- Post Graduate Programme – 1 or 2 year
- Integrated 5-year Bachelor’s/ Master
- Discontinued Mphil
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.
Changes for Teachers
A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree
Finally, the outcome-focused out of NEP is, firstly universalization of education. Then at least every student shall come out of school with definite practical skills. The Board exams shall be held to test the core and application skills of the knowledge attained. There will lie no difference between private and government education.
It is surprising to see that the HRD Ministry has also changed its name to the Ministry of Education. A little alarming and quite a warm step considering the year 2020. The government has proposed to increase it’s GDP investment in education from 1.6% to 6% at least. They have also focused on Gross Enrolment Ratio, increasing it to 50% by 2035. These are numbers and only attainable when there is a dynamic change in the approach. The government schools should equally be in parlance to private schools as the Kejriwal Government did in Delhi. The government schools in Delhi are functioning well with fully equipped technology. Certainly, the perfect example as needed.
When the constituent Assembly took the subject of free and compulsory education for debate, one of the member B. Das was sceptical about putting education under the directive policy due to its legal enforceability. And later yes, the point became the matter of debate not once but several times. The point of writing this is that even our constitutional fathers weren’t particular about education then why would something change in the present context.