~ Bargavi Baradhwaj
On 30th July, the Union Cabinet of India introduced a revised educational policy known as the NEP 2020, creating wider scope for education in schools and universities across the country. NEP is basically a framework that gives guidelines for the development of the educational sector. This was introduced back in 1968 by the Indian National Congress and has created a positive impact. To date, India has had three NEP’s and the one before this was introduced in 1992, thus retrieving the importance of having an updated policy.
There are eleven basic points on which the policy focuses on. The same are listed below-
The 10+2 system is replaced with the 5+3+3+4 system
The new design corresponds to the ages 3-8 years (foundational stage), 8-11 years (preparatory stage), 11-14 years (middle-stage), 14-18 years (secondary stage). This adds three years of pre-schooling which is considered to be an essential stage of learning in modern society.
Early Childhood Care and Education
As described earlier, children from the age of 3-8 years will be attending preschools of Anganwadis to learn basics. These schools will be directed to recruit teachers who are specially qualified in the ECCE framework. The importance given to the preliminary stages of learning was an essential amendment to the existing system.
The policy attaches key importance to the role of libraries in a student’s life. It talks about a National Book Promotion Policy which would take initiative to provide diverse genres of books in different geographical locations and different languages. It also mentions digital libraries which would further the motive of providing students with resources.
Mother Tongue and Regional Language
The policy directs the schools to choose the specific regional language as the medium of instructions. This will continue up till grade 5 after which it will be optional until grade 8. Not only does this increase the importance of the mother tongue, but it also provides the student with a comfortable atmosphere as he is already familiar with the language.
Bal Bhavans are morning boarding schools that would help students participate in art and career-related activities. The infrastructure for this purpose would be free in the case of Samajik Chetna Kendras.
Academic Credit System
This system is introduced to accumulate all the credit earned from different Higher Education Institutes and storing these so that they can be counted when the final degree is being accepted. This would prove to be of great benefit for students who drop out. They will be able to continue their course from where they left it without wasting any time.
This credit system also deals with various entry and exit points in a student’s life. He/she will be given a certificate if dropped after 1 year, a diploma if dropped after 2, a bachelor’s degree if dropped after 3 and a Bachelor’s degree with research if he finishes four years. This creates more security in a student’s life.
The board exams which are conducted after grade 10 and 12 will be made much easier than what it is currently. The aim of the test would not be memorizing but instead would involve analytical and critical thinking aspects. The syllabus would be reduced and will focus on the core concepts which are essential in a student’s life.
The particulars required for a school assessment will be changed. Instead of focusing on theoretical skills, the report card will focus on multi-dimensional skills thus making the report more holistic in nature. It will consist of the ‘uniqueness of each learner in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains’ in great detail. Moreover, the element of self and peer assessment is added to the teacher assessment which was prevailing already.
The NEP provides provisions for the establishment of foreign universities in India. This will help to globalize the whole system and create international standards of education. The provision will be facilitated through student-teacher mobility and institutional collaborations.
Modification in Elective Subjects
Students would no longer be forced to be restricted in the arts, science or commerce stream. They will be allowed to choose the subjects they are interested in even if they are from different streams. For instance, a student will be allowed to study history and physics in the same term.
Common Entrance Tests
The National Testing Academy (NTA) is instructed to conduct a common entrance test for all universities across the country. The institute was responsible for conducting engineering exams in the country such as JEE and NEET. This test will be similar to the SATs which are recognized by foreign universities. The basic motive is to bring uniformity to the education system.
The NEP has created room for the holistic and flexible development of a student. It lets the student choose what he or she is interested in rather than them being restricted to one stream. Multi-disciplinary courses will surely prove to have a positive impact. Apart from this, the biggest advantage is that the whole education system in the country would gain uniformity. This will remove the confusion due to the ambiguous nature of the current system. The NEP surely has many plus points and would prove to be beneficial for the country.
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