Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 to bring “large-scale transformational reforms” in both school and higher education sectors, and also gave its nod to a proposal to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to Ministry of Education, reversing the Rajiv Gandhi government’s decision to change the ministry’s name in 1985.
A new education policy for the nation comes after a gap of 34 years. It will replace the previous policy, formulated during the Rajiv Gandhi regime in 1986. The policy recommendations will be implemented in phases.
Here Are Some Major Takeaways From The NEP:
Formal education of a child will start from the age of 3, with integration of early childhood care and education in the schooling system.
The current 10+2 school curricula to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure. NCERT to formulate a new curriculum and pedagogy. No parallel changes to physical infrastructure will be required.
Under 5+3+3+4 structure, 3-years of Anganwadi or pre-school and 2 years in primary school in Classes 1-2, both together covering ages 3-8, will be the foundational stage of schooling for flexible, multilevel, play/activity-based learning.
Preparatory Stage: Classes 3-5, covering ages 8-11. Introduction of experiential learning across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities.
Middle Stage: Classes 6-8, covering ages 11-14. Introduction of subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style.
Secondary Stage in two phases: Classes 9 and 10 in the first and 11 and 12 in the second, covering ages 14-18. Greater depth, greater critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, and greater flexibility and student choice of subjects.
There will be option to exit at grade 10 and re-enter at a later stage in grade 11.
Special focus on foundational literacy and numeracy in early stages of schooling.
A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy to be set up. States to prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025.
Instilling of 21st century skills. Computer literacy to be introduced in early stages of schooling. Students to start learning to code from class 6.
No hard separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in school. Vocational education to be introduced from class 6.
Students to be taught in their mother tongue or local language at least upto Class 5.
NCERT to develop a new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education 2020-21.
Assessment Reforms: Shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment which will be more competency-based and promote learning and development. New assessment methods to tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity.
All students will take school examinations in classes 3, 5, and 8.
Board exams for Classes 10 and 12 will continue but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) to be set up as a standard-setting body.
States to redesign progress cards in schools to make them holistic, 360 degree. They will be multidimensional report card of the students progress. Progress card will include self-assessment, peer assessment, and teacher assessment.
Teachers to be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions will be merit-based.
A common national professional standards for the teachers (NPST) to be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) by 2022 in consultation with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), State Councils for Educational Research and training (SCERTs), teachers and expert organizations.
Holistic Multidisciplinary Education. Expansion of open and distance learning.
Under-graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options. Award of certificate after 1 year of completion of UG programme, advanced diploma after 2 years, bachelor’s degree after 3 years and bachelor’s with research after 4 years.
MPhil programmes to be discontinued.
A common entrance test for admission to universities.
Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up.
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.
All professional education to be made an integral part of the higher education system.
A National Research Foundation to be created as an apex body for fostering a research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) to 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.
Graded autonomy to higher education institutions. Broad regulatory framework to cap the fee.
Government to allow top-rated foreign higher education institutions to open campuses in India.
Promotion of Indian languages.
Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula meant for school education.
Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student.
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