National Education Policy (NEP) 2020: all you need to know about

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020: all you need to know about

Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank have announced the NEP 2020.

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has been approved by the Union cabinet. The Cabinet has also approved the change of Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s name to ‘Ministry of Education’.

Making the announcement, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the new education policy for the 21st century. It is important because for 34 years there were no changes in the education policy.”

What is NEP 2020?

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has been introduced on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. NEP aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”. It has proposed several structural changes in the primary as well as the higher education system. It has been developed after consultations for nearly 5 years with the general public and stakeholders.

What is Aims

The New Education Policy (NEP 2020) aims at revamping all aspects of the Indian education structure. The new policy aims to universalise the pre-primary education by 2025 and provide foundational literacy and numeracy for all.

The NEP has also set an objective to achieve access and participation in free and compulsory education in the age group of 3 to 18 years by 2030.

How did it start?

In 2019, the draft National Education Policy (NEP) developed by a committee chaired by the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Kasturirangan was shared by the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) for public comment. They asked the public to give their opinions and suggestions on the NEP draft.

Why is this NEP important?

National Education Policy has been introduced to provide for major transformations in higher education, increased focus on non-academic skills and increased inclusion through language diversity and course fluidity. It is important because there were no changes in the education policy for 34 years and it was much needed. The central government expects to bring back about 2 crores out of school children into the mainstream through NEP 2020.

NEP aims to get 6% of GDP in the Education sector (earlier it was 1.7%).

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What has been changed?

The new session will start in September-October. The delay is due to the unparalleled coronavirus outbreak. The central government intends to introduce the policy before the new academic session starts.

Following changes have been made on different levels of study.

Primary and early education:

  • Emphasis on language and mathematics from classes 1 to 3.
  • Basic Literacy and Numeracy to be included for children aged between 6 to 9 years.
  • The medium of instruction is going to be mother tongue / local language till class 5 and preferably till class 8 and beyond.
  • Preparatory class Balavatika has been introduced for children below the age of 5 and they will be taught by an ECCE qualified teacher.
  • The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/pre-schooling.
  • Coding will be taught from class 6.
  • Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade and will include internships.

Higher Education

  • 10 + 2 system has been now changed to 5+3+3+4 scheme corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
  • The provision states to divide classes 9 to 12 into 8 semesters.
  • As per the new NEP, Board exams for class 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
  • Marksheet of 10th and 12th Board will have “Skills” and “Capabilities” section.
  • There will be variable models for board exams – annual, semester, modular exams.
  • Importance of the board exam to be reduced to decrease pressure, the exam can be conducted twice a year.
  • Higher School Curriculum will have flexibility for Subjects which mean there will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.

Other changes

  • The NEP 2020 also provides for open learning for classes 3, 5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programs.
  • 360-degree holistic report card for students.
  • Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) will be established that will digitally store the academic credits earned by the students.
  • National assessment centre – PARAKH
  • E-contents in regional language.
  • AI-based assessment.
  • National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be created.
  • Virtual Labs will be developed.
  • Divyang friendly Education software.
  • Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Disadvantaged Region.
  • NCERT will develop a framework of the early childhood education of children up to the age of 8: National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE).

College

  • UG Colleges to be more Autonomous.
  • Students can pursue two Streams together.
  • Techcnology-based option for adult learning through apps, TV channels etc.
  • NTA to offer single common entrance exam to all colleges for admission to various courses
  • Undergraduate degree courses to have Multiple entries and exit programs with appropriate certification.
  • All courses at UG, PG, PhD level will be interdisciplinary.
  • Except for legal and medical colleges, all higher education institutions will be governed by a single regulatory body Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).

HECI will have 4 independent verticals:

  1. National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation,
  2. General Education Council (GEC) for standard-setting,
  3. Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and
  4. National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
  • MPhil courses to be discontinued under the new National Education Policy.

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