EDUCATION / GOVERNANCE
Topic: General Studies 2,3:
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
National Education Policy 2020
Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the new NEP 2020 with an aim to introduce changes in the Indian education system so as to meet the needs of 21st Century India.
The Cabinet has also approved the renaming of the MHRD to the Ministry of Education
Did You Know?
- The last NEP was that of 1986 and modified in 1992.
- The current policy is based on the report filed by the committee headed by eminent space scientist K. Kasturirangan.
- NEP 2020 policy envisages 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030
Key Takeaways from NEP 2020
- School Education:
- Universalization of education from preschool to secondary level: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, will be extended to cover children between 3 and 18 years
- Structure: The current 10+2 system will be divided into 5 (3 to 8 years) +3 (8to 11 years) + 3 (11 to 14 years) + 4 (14 to 18 years) format.
- Co-curriculum and vocational subjects like sports, arts, commerce, science will be treated at the same level.
- Computer Skills: Students will be allowed to take up coding from class 6 onward.
- Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships.
- Additional Meal: Provision of an energy-filled breakfast, in addition to the nutritious mid-day meal, to help children achieve better learning outcomes.
- Regular Exams: To track progress, all students will take school examinations in grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
- Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier, to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice
- Curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to its core essentials, and will make space for critical thinking and more holistic, inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based learning
- Teacher Capabilities: A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2021, will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with NCERT
- Medium of Instruction:
- The policy says that wherever possible, the medium of instruction in schools until at least Class 5, but preferably until Class 8 and beyond, will be the home language or mother tongue or regional language
- The three languages learned by children will be the choices of states, regions, and of the students, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India
- Higher Education
- Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035 (presently it is at 26.3%)
- Flexibility in Higher Education: NEP 2020 proposes a multi-disciplinary higher education framework with portable credits, and multiple exits with certificates, diplomas and degrees
- The common entrance exam for all higher education institutes to be held by NTA. The exam will be optional and not mandatory
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
- The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education
- M.Phil courses will be discontinued and all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
- Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)
- It will be set up as a single umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education.
- It will be a single, lean body with four verticals for standards-setting, funding, accreditation and regulation so as to provide “light but tight” oversight
- Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
- Technology & Foreign Institutes
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
- National Assessment Centre- ‘PARAKH’ has been created to assess the students.
- It also paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
What are the merits of new NEP 2020?
- Comprehensive: NEP seeks to address the entire gamut of education from preschool to doctoral studies, and from professional degrees to vocational training.
- Early Childhood Education: In adopting a 5+3+3+4 model for school education starting at age 3, NEP recognises the primacy of the formative years from ages 3 to 8 in shaping the child’s future
- Easy on Regulations: NEP 2020 makes a bold prescription to free our schools, colleges and universities from periodic “inspections” and place them on the path of self-assessment and voluntary declaration
- Holistic: The policy, inter alia, aims to eliminate problems of pedagogy, structural inequities, access asymmetries and rampant commercialisation.
- Promote Inclusion: The Policy proposes creation of ‘inclusion funds’ to help socially and educationally disadvantaged children pursue education
What are the Challenges ahead w.r.t implementing NEP 2020?
- Cooperation from States:
- Any educational reform can be implemented only with support from the States, and the Centre has the giant task of building a consensus on the many ambitious plans
- The idea of a National Higher Education Regulatory Council as an apex control organisation is bound to be resented by States
- Inadequate check on donations: Fee regulations exist in some States even now, but the regulatory process is unable to rein in profiteering in the form of unaccounted donations.
- Funding: Progress on these crucially depends on the will to spend the promised 6% of GDP as public expenditure on education.
If implemented in its true vision, the new structure can bring India at par with the leading countries of the world.
Connecting the dots:
- Right to Education Act
- Operation Digital Board