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New Education Policy 2020

The New Education Policy was released under the Government of India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on 30 July 2020. With the motto of Educate Encourage Enlighten, this is the first education policy to be released in the last 34 years in India. The aim of the policy is to prepare the children of India with 21st century skills. The policy is founded on the three pillars of Research, Innovation, and Quality, with the objective of developing India into a knowledge super power.

Union Budget highlights:
Union Budget 2021: Central University to be set up in Leh
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech stated that a central university will be set up in Leh to ensure proper higher education access. It was mentioned as part of the New Education policy initiative. She has also announced funds of Rs.50,000 crore for National Research Foundation and Rs.40 crore for Ekalavya schools.

Key Highlights of the NEP

Of the many changes formulated by the NEP, the key changes are:

  • Public spending on education by states and the Center has been increased to 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been renamed as the Ministry of Education
  • There will be no rigid separation between arts and science, academic and vocational, curricular and extracurricular streams
  • Education of gifted children will be looked into
  • Establishment of a Gender Inclusion fund

New Pedagogy and Curriculum for School Education

Universalisation of Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE) will be implemented. The existing educational structure of 10 + 2 years has been redesigned to 3+2+3+3+4 years, which will be as follows:

Foundational Stage: This will be for a total of 5 years:

  • 3 years at an Anganwadi/Balvatika/preschool/playschool for children in the age group of 3 to 6 years with multi-level play and activity-based learning
  • 2 years in class 1 and 2 for children in the age group of 6 to 8 with multi-level play and activity-based learning

Preparatory Stage: This will for a total of 3 years:

  • For classes 3 through 5
  • For children in the age group of 8 to 11 years
  • Activity-based and interactive classroom learning

Middle Stage: This will be for a total of 3 years:

  • For classes 6 through 8
  • For children in the age group of 11 to 14 years
  • Experiential learning in science, mathematics, social sciences, arts, and humanities

Secondary Stage: This will be for a total of 4 years:

  • For classes 9 through 12
  • For children in the age group 14 to 18 years
  • Multidisciplinary study, student’s choice of subjects, critical thinking

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The following are the key points of the language policy in school education:

  • No language will be imposed on any state
  • Up to class 5 and preferably till class 8, the mother tongue will the medium of instruction as far as possible in both private and public schools
  • There will be a 3-language system with languages chosen by the states, regions, and students
  • Of the 3 languages, 2 should be native languages of India
  • Sanskrit will be offered at all levels of school and higher education
  • Other classical languages will be made available, mostly as online modules
  • Foreign languages will be offered from the secondary level onwards

Board Exams

The following are the key highlights for class 10 and class 12 board exams:

  • Board exams will be redesigned to test core competencies rather than memorisation of facts
  • They will be redesigned to be easier for students
  • Students will be permitted to take the exams twice
  • There may be modular or semester-wise board exams
  • There may be exams for different levels of difficulty
  • Objective and descriptive type questions may have different exams
  • A modular model, rather than just one board, may be in place by the year 2023

School Education

In school education, the following are the key features:

  • By the year 2030, universalisation of education will be implemented from age 3 to class 10
  • Key assessments will be conducted at classes 3, 5, and 8
  • Students can choose subjects, especially in secondary school, which would include arts and crafts, vocational skills, and physical education
  • By the year 2025, the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will ensure that basic skills are imbibed by the class 3 level
  • From class 6, coding and vocational skills training will be integrated into the curriculum
  • Indian knowledge, values, and culture, including indigenous and tribal knowledge, will be integrated into the curriculum
  • There will be a new accreditation framework for schools
  • There will be an independent authority for the regulation of both private and public schools

Undergraduate Education

In undergraduate education, the following are the key changes:

  • Undergraduate degrees will have a duration of 4 years
  • Undergraduate degrees will be multi-disciplinary, holistic, and flexible
  • There will be multiple exit options with appropriate certifications at each exit point such as:
    • Certificate after completing 1 year in a vocational or professional field
    • Diploma after 2 years
    • Bachelor’s degree after 3 years
  • Students completing the 4-year degree program can obtain a degree with research if the research subject is within the area of study

Higher Education

The following are the key points in the higher education category:

  • Postgraduate programs will have a duration of 1 to 2 years
  • There will be no M.Phil. programmes
  • In 15 years, the college affiliation system will be gradually phased out
  • Every college will develop into either a constituent college of a university or into an autonomous degree-granting institution
  • There will be a new umbrella regulatory body for all higher education courses except for legal and medical courses
  • An Academic Bank of Credit will be established to facilitate smoother transfer between institutions
  • All standalone technical universities, legal universities, agricultural universities, and health science universities will become multi-disciplinary institutions.

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NIOS and Open State Schools

For the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and Open Schools, the following are the key points:

  • A, B, and C levels can be offered that are equivalent to grades 3, 5, and 8 of the formal schooling systems
  • Secondary school programs can be offered that are equivalent to grades 10 and 12

Teacher Education

The following has been proposed for teacher education:

  • The minimum qualification for teaching will be a B.Ed. degree
  • The B.Ed. degree will be a 4-year integrated course

Digital Approaches

Some of the features of the NEP that emphasise on the integration of technology include the following:

  • A National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), an autonomous body, will be established for the exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance the efficiency of the education sector
  • A new unit will be established dedicated to creating digital education resources including digital infrastructure, capacity building, and digital content
  • Integration of technology to improve classroom processes will be initiated across all levels

Timeline of the Formation of the NEP

While the National Education Policy was framed in 1986, it was modified in 1992. The report for the draft was submitted to the Ministry in May 2019. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 was shared on the MyGov Innovate portal and on the MHRD website inviting suggestions from the public and other stakeholders. The foundational pillars of the draft NEP were accountability, access, affordability, equity, and quality. A meeting on the draft was held in November 2019. Finally, the National Education Policy was approved by the Union Cabinet in July 2020.

With the New Education Policy opening up several courses and career paths, an education loan can help you get the career you dream of without any hassle.

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