The recent National Education Policy 2020 in India has made its way after 34 years of previous policy. It took six years of work and consultation with an unimagined number of policymakers, educators, and members of civil society.
Before the approval of the new education policy, India’s education system has been revolving like the Russian Roulette game. In this game, one chamber out of six is filled with a bullet; when you start pulling the trigger, the chances of surviving are five out of six. Unfortunately, the exam system happens to be the same where either you will pass or get decent marks, but if you don’t, you are out of the game.
Students are expected to memorize the concepts without understanding the importance of the subject matter. Most of them make it, but those who don’t become history. But have you ever wondered that you’re assured to be placed in the best shot places even if you’re amongst the top 5?
The loopholes in the education system have been vast for a long period. Thankfully, the Union Cabinet of India finally approved the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29th July 2020, reflecting the new and necessary changes in the education system. The new policy outlines the goals for India’s education system, replacing the 1986 National Policy on Education. It aims to reform India’s decades-old educational policy and revamp every aspect of the currently prevalent educational structure. The government of India acknowledged and recognized the need to keep up with the dynamic world and knowledge landscape; thus, the NEP 2020 articulates the purpose of the education system to develop productive, engaged, and contributing citizens for building an inclusive, plural, and equitable society as envisioned by our constitution.
In this article, you will learn some useful insights on National Education Policy 2020 and how it is expected to shape India’s education system prospects.
Vision of the NEP 2020
· To develop a sense of respect for the fundamental duties, constitutional values, and rights, creating awareness of one’s role and responsibilities in this evolving world, and bonding with one’s country.
· Creating an education system that contributes towards an equitable and variant society, providing high-quality and valuable education to all.
· Inculcating values, skills, and dispositions supporting commitment towards sustainable development, living, human rights, and global well-being, thereby presenting a faithful global citizen.
Key Changes Brought in the NEP 2020
The new National Education Policy 2020 has brought new ways of structuring the minds of next-gen students. The changes have not only focused on nerd students; rather, it has presented an opportunity for every type of student. Given below are the notable points of reform as stated in the NEP 2020:
· Focus on Equity and Inclusion- A section of the national policy is dedicated to the inclusion of Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs), categorized as transgender, girls, Dalits, children with special needs, children from rural areas, and victims of trafficking. The policy recognizes that children with disabilities are not given the required attention to thrive in schools, mainly because teachers are not equipped or trained to focus on their learning style. Therefore, with this policy, an effort is made to ensure that teachers are adequately trained in this area of education.
· Focus on Early Childhood Education: The focus is on including education at age 3 rather than at age 6 for first-grade students. It is to develop the children’s foundational years (age 3-8). Earlier, the children’s right to education was aimed at 6-14 years, but with the new NEP 2020, the aim is to extend this right to age 3-18. This change is particularly relevant for the public schools where most children come from low-income families or lack preschool education.
· No Mandatory Separation in Streams: Previously, the students were mandated to choose among provided streams (arts, commerce, science). But now, each stream is given equal value, and no distinction is made on choosing a set of subjects. Additionally, the government has introduced an approach where students who want to study fashion with chemistry or mathematics with psychology are allowed to do so. In other words, the freedom to choose the subjects and eliminate social stigma is what national policy 2020 aims at.
NEP 2020 Student-centric Opportunities
· The policy’s purpose is to make learning less stressful and more learning-oriented. Technical and modern study is added, like coding from class 6th, which will modernize the student’s mindset.
· The Government of India will provide a ‘Gender Inclusion Fund,’ which aims at providing equitable quality education to all girds and transgender students.
· A ‘three-language formula’ is implemented whereby no emphasis on any particular language is imposed on anyone. Sanskrit is described as a modern language offered at all school levels, enriching students’ options.
· Board exams are made easier as the test will primarily focus on the core competencies and capacities of the students, thus reducing stress on students and parents. For instance, school boards can give options to students in choosing a tough maths exam or a comparatively average version of it.
National Education Policy and Teacher’s Development
The new Education Policy 2020 not only addresses the education system for students but has also reformed the policies for teacher’s development. Below are the highlights of the changes made in teacher education:
· All the fresh Ph.D. entrants are required to take credit-based courses in education/writing/teaching/pedagogy related to their Ph.D. subjects during the doctoral training period.
· Stand-alone teacher education institutions are expected to be converted into multi-disciplinary institutions by 2030. This will offer a 4-year integrated teacher preparation program.
· The National Mission for Mentoring will be introduced with many remarkable seniors/retired faculty, including those who have the skills to teach in Indian languages for mentoring university/college teachers.
Future Prospects of the Indian Education System
The flaws in the Indian education system were in continuance for the past 36 years, which have now finally reformed with the present pattern. With the introduction of the National Education Policy 2020, India’s young youth are presented with an enormous opportunity to access the highest quality education. Moreover, a strong emphasis on equity and quality is laudable in the entire NEP, which further targets critical thinking, holistic, inquiry-based, discussion-based, discovery-based, and analysis-based learning. Besides, the future of India’s education system with renewed 21st-century skills is anticipated to strongly drive literacy to new levels.