India believes in the aforementioned adage and is all set to bring a revolutionary change in the Educational scenario through the much-awaited policy-NEP 2020, which has finally been approved by the union cabinet on May 29, 2020. This National Education Policy 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our country. This policy proposes the revision and revamping of all the aspects of the educational structure. Thus aiming for making, “India a Global Knowledge Superpower”.
The NEP 2020 is being framed on the concept of Education for all. On a broader canvas, it can be portrayed as a great leveler and is instrumental for achieving economic and social mobility, inclusion, and equality for all the students alike. There would be seamless integration and co-ordination across India thus reflecting the ethos and ethics of Education at large.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF NEP 2020
1) To promote each student with a holistic development in both the academic and non-academic sphere.
2) To give the highest priority in achieving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all students by Grade 3.
3) To provide a flexible approach so that the learners have the ability to choose their learning trajectories and programmer according to their talents and interests.
4) To eliminate harmful hierarchies among the different streams and areas of learning.
5) To promote multidisciplinary education across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and sports.
6) To give prominence to conceptual understanding rather than rote learning.
7) To enhance creativity and critical thinking to encourage logical decision- making and innovation.
8) To implement the multilingualism approach thus giving importance to the power of Language in teaching & learning.
9) To instill a ‘light but tight’ regulatory framework to ensure integrity, transparency, resource efficiency of the educational system.
10) To evaluate the continuous review of progress based on sustained research & regular assessment by the educational experts.
Curriculum & pedagogy in schools:
The NEP -2020 aims at incorporation a new framework where it believes that learning should be holistic, integrated, enjoyable, and engaging for all the students.
Restructuring the school curriculum and pedagogy in 5+3+3+4 design. The Present educational Structure i.e, 10+2, is to be modified to 5+3+3+4.
Ages 3 to 8 will fall under the foundational stage (in two parts, that is,3 years of Anganwadi / pre school+2 years in a primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8 years.
This will cater to play/activity-based, flexible, multi-faceted, multi-level and enquiry based learning.The overall aim of ECCE will be to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of physical, motor, cognitive, socio-emotional –ethical, cultural/artistic and communication development and early language learning.
Ages 8 to 11 under Preparatory Stage (Grade 3 - 5)
* Attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all children will become a national mission, wherein the ability to read and comprehend the basic text.
* Emphasis should be laid on foundational Literacy and Numeracy so that all the students are well equipped with their applications and implementations.
* Teaching up to Grade 5 will be imparted in mother /regional language. No language will be imposed on any students.
Ages 11 to 14 under Middle Stage (Grade 6 & 8)
* The middle stage will comprise three years of education, building on the pedagogical and curricular style of the preparatory stage, but with the introduction of the subject teachers for learning and discussion of the more abstract concepts in each subject that the students will be ready for at this stage across the Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.
* Experiential Learning will be the fundamental principle of learning in this domain. Vocational Education will commence from class 6 with Internships
Ages 14 to 18 under Secondary Stage (Grade 9 & 12)
9 & 10 in First Phase
11 & 12 in Second Phase
The secondary stage will comprise of four years of multidisciplinary study, building on the subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style of the middle stage. The students learning would be based on greater depth, greater critical thinking, and greater attention to life aspiration, greater flexibility, and student choice of subjects. The Board Examinations for class 10 and 12would be focused to test core competencies rather than core memorized
facts and the Students will now take the exams twice a year.
I. Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035. Also, 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education. The Current Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) in higher education is 26.3%.
II. All higher Education institutions to become multidisciplinary by 2040. Students would be given increased flexibility in the choice of subjects they wish to study in the Secondary stage.
III. Holistic Undergraduate Education with a flexible curriculum can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
IV. The Pedagogical structure will not adhere to any rigid separation between various streams. The segregation between the vocational, academic, curricular and co-curriculum will be eliminated.
V. Academic Bank of Credits will be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits.
VI. M.phil Course will be discontinued and all the courses at the Undergraduate, Post Graduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
VII. 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.
An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETE), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, and administration.
National Assessment Centre-‘PARAKH’ has been created to assess the students.
This policy paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
This emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions, and groups.
National Institute for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.
NEP -2020 is a progressive shift towards a more scientific approach to Education. If implemented in its true vision, the new structure can really bring a revolutionary change which will escalate India to the phenomenal heights and it would be at par with the leading countries of the world.
Disclaimer: The author is Sandhya Dewan, Principal, Cambridge International School, Nakodar. Views are personal.