Federal Government has launched a New Education policy on July 29. Constituting policies regarding elementary to higher education, covering both rural and urban areas of India. It is to promote education and to make much-needed changes in the Indian education system. Giving all the territories equal attention. Propositions are developed to remodel the education system which will assist in broadening the scope of learning. NEP is an attempt to collapse various elements of the earlier education system and replace them with better propositions. Opening up the scope and elevating the flexibility of the system to redefine what education means in India.

What is National Education Policy?

NEP 2020

The New education policy 2020 will be implemented in the place of the earlier 1986 education policy. A much-needed change after 35 years in the education sector of India. NEP has been in the developmental stages since the year 2016, a special committee was constituted to further develop the new education policy and its various propositions. In 2019 the NEP draft was modified according to the public feedback. Finally, NEP 2020 in its end stages has been announced and expected to be implemented soon.

Why it matters?

NEP 2020

A nation, with changing times, requires changing policies to adapt to different needs of its citizens. The New education policy matters as it aims to tackle all the previously existing faults within the system. Such as rote learning- with the introduction of Vocational studies and boards in classes 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th. The focus is now shifting from the grading system to equipping students with life skills. Education under the new policy would be more holistic. Establishing various exists at school and college levels, reducing the rate of dropouts and motivating them to finish their studies becomes easy. The new proposition would improve India’s education system, hugely impacting its growth and subsequently increasing the number of productive citizens, lowering the rate of poverty.

Naming the ministry of human resource development as the Ministry of Education solely focused on maintaining the new changes to the Indian education sector is another decision taken under the NEP 2020.

New Education Policy (NEP) 2020: Essential propositions

NEP 2020

1. Commencement of preschooling from the age of 3 years

The age group for compulsory education would shift from 6-14 years to 3-18 years. Preschooling for 3 years from the 3-6 yrs age group is mandatory under NEP 2020.

2. The ‘Three-language formula’

The ‘three-language formula’- under NEP, student’s language of instruction would either be their regional language or our mother tongue. The authorities will not be imposing any other language on the students in their early education. There would be no compulsion on the students to learn a new language until the 6th grade. English will be introducing in the syllabus beginning from 6th grade.

3. Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)

Various bodies of higher education can now are put under one umbrella and a single body is governing higher education in India. Excluding medical and legal studies. Both public and private institutes of education will be running under the same commission for education i.e Higher Education Commission of India  (HECI). The norms of regulation, accreditation, and academic standards would be similar.

4. Flexible choices of subjects

Limitations and rigidity in the allocation of various subjects to students of different streams are replacing. Now, students can pick subjects according to their preferences along with vocational subjects. Internships would also be provided for vocational subjects. Students can take up vocational studies through online mode.

5. Lowering the Dropout rate

NEP will lower the rate of dropouts from college as the students will be provided with several options to exit from college at any semester. Students can rejoin their studies in college from where they left. Universities would be providing students with one year certificate after clearing their first year in college. Providing certificates along with vocational studies. A diploma certificate will be allocated after completing two years of college. A bachelor’s degree will be provided after completing three or four years of the discipline.

6. Utilizing Schools and other institutions after school hours

Utilization of schools and other educational institutions for teaching purposes even after school hours. Other purposes for which these spaces will be utilizing such as different educational courses, community activities, etc.

7. Introducing vocational studies in schools

According to the new policy children would require to learn at least one skill or takeup one vocational study. Vocational studies such as pottery, gardening, carpeting, etc. With the introduction of vocational studies, the burden of carrying a heavy bag would be reduced hence students of 6th to 8th grade would have 10 days period where they are not supposed to carry bags to school. The online mode would also be available for vocational studies.

8. Teaching Indian Sign Language

The curriculum would be including Indian sign language. Children would be learning basic concepts and subjects in Indian sign language. For this NIOS will develop an Indian sign language course containing high-quality modules.

9. Mandatory Pre-Schooling

A year of pre-schooling would become mandatory according to the new policy educational institutions such as primary schools and Kendriya Vidhyalas would adopt a one-year pre-schooling facility.

10. Frequent Boards

The proposal of introducing board in classes 3, 5, and 8, 10, and 12 instead of yearly examinations. Motivating and assessing conceptual learning and understanding of the students is the main focus under the new policy. National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), setting a new examination pattern as standards of education.

11. Digital education

Majorly boosting online education with the focused development of digital infrastructure specially designed to facilitate online education for school learning. Digital learning makes schooling and higher education with better equipment, hence such urgencies will not be affecting education in the future as it has in recent times.

Challenges faced by the New Education Policy 2020

New Education Policy

1. Deprioritizing English language-issues of emerging inequity

English is a globally speaking language. sidelining it till the 6th standard does not sit well with various educational experts. Delaying teaching English to students will slow down the pace of their learning and can majorly affect their development as the younger generation is our nation’s strength and our promising potential future.  A child’s base is created during this age and it will be easy for them to catch the English language at an early stage. Finding other ways of promoting regional languages can be opted for.

It is also a drawback for the kids in rural areas as compared to children belonging to the upper-class family. Children whose parents and family members can speak in English can later grasp the English language without difficulties. In such conditions, it becomes difficult for rural children to grasp the English language in the later stages of their development. Additionally, they can afford tuitions and other courses to learn English when rural children’s only source of learning lies in schools.

2. Funding

Implementing Several propositions under the New Education Policy 2020 can only be possible with an appropriate amount of funding from the government. Such as the free breakfast proposition and turning affiliated colleges into individual educational institutes which can later go on to become universities. However, building such infrastructure would require time along with fundings.

Final Thoughts

NEP 2020

Equal education for all can only be possible with the help of this policy if it is implementing in the same way in which it is developing. Hence considering all strata of economic backgrounds. Striving for equality and equity when it comes to education.

 Also Read: Indian Education System: How it PULLS Back India?

Anubhav Kumar Das

Anubhav Kumar Das

Anubhav is the owner of Forever Pieces. He is a published author and poet. He is a part-time freelance writer and maybe found strumming the guitar for gigs on festive weekends. Besides all these, he is also an exhibited artist and photographer.

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