India has witnessed a new paradigm shift in its culture of education with the first National Education Policy (NEP) released in 2020 after 34 years. This policy launched by Union minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems to make India a global knowledge superpower. The policy has seen an unprecedented allocation of 6 per cent of the GDP towards education, promoting multiple stakeholders’ investments and good governance.
India has the world’s second-largest school system after China (WENR, 2018)m with more than 1.5 million schools and about 260 million students. However, dropout rates in secondary school are still alarming, besides various other challenges like unfavourable student-teacher ratios, inadequate teachers’ training, increasing and widespread distrust with government schools, mushrooming of un-regulated or unlicensed private schools, and mediocre learning outcomes. The NEP aspires to address these gaps through recommendations for enhanced focus on skill development of students, capacity building of teachers, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and learning approach. Given the recent restructuring of school education as per the NEP, holistic assessment of school education is a necessity to ensure that school students are equipped to transition into higher education.