Some of the biggest highlights of the NEP 2020 are:
Board exams will be low stakes & test actual knowledge instead of rote learning;
Schooling starts at age of 3 years’;
School complexes to be used for adult education courses after school hours;
The Power of Language and Multilingualism;
NIOS to develop high quality modules for Indian Sign Language;
Universal Access & NO UGC, AICTE, NCTE;
Dedicated unit for digital and online learning;
Reform in education curriculum and teaching methods;
Initial Professional Qualification-4 Year Comprehensive B.Ed Degree;
Holistic Multidisciplinary comprehensive schooling.
The Government of India replaced the National Education Policy of 34 years, established in 1986, with the Current Education Policy of 2020. The NEP, endorsed by the union cabinet, is introducing radical reforms in school and higher education, including teaching.
Schooling starts at the age of 3 years’ now
The New Education Strategy stretches the age range 6-14 years of compulsory education to 3-18 years of schooling. The NEP incorporates up to now unknown three years of pre-primary, 3-6-year age range in the school program. The proposed program would provide 12 years of education and three years of Anganwadi / pre-schooling.
Focusing on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the 10 + 2 structure of the school system is to be supplemented by a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 curricular structure referring to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18.
Mother tongue as medium of instruction
The NEP insists on students' mother tongue as a means of learning, as it adheres to the 'three language rule,' which also states that no language can be forced on anyone. The NEP merely advocates the use of the mother tongue as a means of instruction and does not make it mandatory.
The policy paper states that children study and perceive non-trivial ideas more easily in their native language.
“Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language, mother tongue, local language or the regional language. Thereafter, the home or local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible. This will be followed by both public and private schools," the policy states.
Universal Access & NO UGC, AICTE, NCTE
NEP 2020 includes requirements to guarantee equal access to school education at all levels, from pre-school to secondary.
Many of these requirements include community funding, creative innovation centers to get dropouts back to the classroom, pupil monitoring and performance rates, promoting various learning paths including both traditional and non-formal schooling, and the collaboration of psychologists or well-trained social workers with schools.
As one overarching umbrella organization for entire higher schools, excluding medical and legal education, the Indian higher education commission(HECI) is set up. Public and private higher education institutions will be regulated by the same set of criteria for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
In 15 years, the government should phase out the association of colleges and a step-by - step process for granting graduated autonomy to colleges.
Science, arts, commerce gets blurred
There will be no rigorous segregation of arts and sciences, curriculum and extracurricular activity, vocational and academic streams, under NEP 2020. Students will pick topics that they prefer in the sources. In schools, from 6th grade, vocational study starts which will require internships.
Minimum qualification for teaching - 4 year integrated B.Ed degree The holistic and comprehensive National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework, NCFTE 2021, will be formed by the NCTE in collaboration with NCERT. A 4-year comprehensive B.Ed will be the required credential for teaching by 2030. Degree. Strengthening steps should be taken against substandard Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) on a stand-alone basis.
FYUP Programme Returns & No More Dropouts
Under the NEP, undergraduate degrees can be either 3 or 4 years in length with various exit opportunities during this time. College is mandated to certify with a certificate after 1 year in a discipline study or field, including professional and vocational subjects, a diploma is mandated after 2 years of studies, or a Bachelor's degree, following three years of study. College is mandated to certify.
Government will now set up an Academic Credit Bank to digitally store academic credits received from various HEIs so that they can be converted and counted against the final degree earned.
The New Education Policy 2020 is a praiseworthy development on the part of the Government towards achieving the objective of ensuring quality education and a trained, qualified and competent youth population. Education platforms such as online learning and remote learning are now being promoted. Lastly, emphasis is also placed on studying and conserving traditional languages, such as Sanskrit in India, which are losing fast.