The central government is all set for enforcing a new education policy from this year by proposing sweeping changes in school and higher education. This New Education Policy was implemented on Wednesday i.e on 29/07/2020 by Union Minister Sri. Ramesh Nishank Pokriyal.This is a massive policy that starts sweeping changes in schools and colleges. Let’s take a look at this policy and its implements.
For what purpose do NEP(National Education Policy) serves?
A NEP is a cyclopedic shell to guide the development of education in the country. The need for a policy was first felt in 1964 when Congress MP Siddheshwar Prasad criticized the then government for lacking a vision and philosophy for education. The same year, a 17-member Education Commission, headed by then UGC Chairperson D S Kothari, was constituted to draft a national and coordinated policy on education. Based on the suggestions of this Commission, Parliament passed the first education policy in 1968.
A new NEP usually comes over every few decades. India has had three to date. The first came in 1968 and the second in 1986, under Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi respectively; the NEP of 1986 was revamped in 1992 when P V Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister. The third is the NEP released Wednesday under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi.
What are the Key Policies and Implementations?
The NEP proposes sweeping changes including opening up of Indian higher education to foreign universities, dismantling of the UGC, and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the introduction of a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate program with multiple exit options, and discontinuation of the M Phil program.
In school education, the policy focuses on overhauling the curriculum, “easier” Board exams, a reduction in the syllabus to retain “core essentials” and thrust on “experiential learning and critical thinking”.
In a revelatory shift from the 1986 policy, which pushed for a 10+2 structure of school education, the new NEP pitches for a “5+3+3+4” design corresponding to the age groups 3-8 years (foundational stage), 8-11 (preparatory), 11-14 (middle), and 14-18 (secondary). This brings early childhood education (also known as pre-school education for children of ages 3 to 5) under the ambit of formal schooling. The mid-day meal program will be extended to pre-school children. The NEP says students until Class 5 should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language.
The policy also proposes phasing out of all institutions offering single streams and that all universities and colleges must aim to become multidisciplinary by 2040.
How do these reforms will be implemented?
The NEP only provides a broad direction and is not mandatory to follow. Since education is a concurrent subject (both the Centre and the state governments can make laws on it), the reforms proposed can only be implemented collaboratively by the Centre and the states. This will not happen immediately. The incumbent government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy. Sufficient funding is also crucial; the 1968 NEP was disabled by a shortage of funds.
The government plans to set up subject-wise committees with members from relevant ministries at both the central and state levels to develop implementation plans for each aspect of the NEP. The plans will list out actions to be taken by multiple bodies, including the HRD Ministry, state Education Departments, school Boards, NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education, and National Testing Agency, among others. Planning will be followed by a yearly joint review of progress against targets set.
Impact on Mother Tongue by English Medium Based schools?
Such emphasis is not new: Most government schools in the country are doing this already. As for private schools, it’s unlikely that they will be asked to change their medium of instruction.A Senior official has clarified that Such emphasis is not new: Most government schools in the country are doing this already. As for private schools, it’s unlikely that they will be asked to change their medium of instruction.
What about the people with Nomadic jobs?
The NEP doesn’t say anything specifically on children of parents with transferable jobs, but acknowledges children living in multilingual families: “Teachers will be encouraged to use a bilingual approach, including bilingual teaching-learning materials, with those students whose home language may be different from the medium of instruction.”
What about the University educations?
The NEP proposes sweeping changes including opening up of Indian higher education to foreign universities, dismantling of the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), introduction of a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options, and discontinuation of the M Phil programme.
Under the four-year programme proposed in the new NEP, students can exit after one year with a certificate, after two years with a diploma, and after three years with a bachelor’s degree.
Indian government is looking forward to implement this as early as possible.