The Government today approved landmark reforms to nations 28 years old National Education Policy to prepare students for the 21st-century world. Starting from schools, primary education to higher education including Colleges and Universities, all levels have major amelioration to make Indian Education System more contemporary as well as skill-oriented.
The National Education Policy (NPE ) -2020, approved by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sets ambitious targets: increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GRE ) to 50% from the current 26%. The education budget to be raised from 4.43% to 6% GDP.
Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and HRD secretaries Amit Khare and Anita Karwal said that after 34 years of gap, NEP is overhauled now, it needed an essential refresh.
For the NEP -2020, the draft was prepared by a panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan.
Key Features of the National Education Policy
- 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4 curriculum.
- Schooling comprises of 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school. This will be split as follows: a foundational stage (ages three and eight), three years of pre-primary (ages eight to 11), a preparatory stage (ages 11 to 14), and a secondary stage (ages 14 to 18).
- Mother tongue or regional language or local language will be the medium of instruction in all schools up to Class 5.
- Coding and vocational courses from class 6.
- School exams will not be held every year, school students will sit only for three – at Classes 3, 5, and 8.
- Exams will be held for senior Classes but even these will be re-designed with “holistic development” as the aim. New national assessment justify- PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development ) will establish standards for this.
- The policy aims at reducing curriculum load and allowing them to become more “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”. There will be no rigid division between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities and between vocational and academic stream, the government.
- The NEP 2020 proposes a four-year undergraduate programme. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be of four years of study.
- It will have multiple exit options to give flexibility to the students. If the student exits after two years one will be entitled to a diploma and those leaving after 12 months will receive a vocational/professional course certificate.
- MPhil (Master of Philosophy) courses will be discontinued.
- UGC and AICTE will be merged.
- Foreign universities to be encouraged to set up campuses in India.
- A dedicated unit will be composed in MHRD to form the structure of digital infrastructure, digital content, and capacity building which is to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.
- New and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. The minimum degree qualification for teaching will be made a 4-year integrated B.Ed degree by the year 2030.
- Use of technology in education planning, teaching-learning, and assessment.
- All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Keeping separate technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities, etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.
By Rashmi Sharma
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