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NEP 2020: Key takeaways at School and College Level

NEP 2020: Key takeaways at School and College Level

By Snehi Suryash.

The Union Cabinet cleared a new National Education Policy  proposing sweeping changes in school and higher education. The draft came under criticism in the State for proposing a three-language formula.

The National Education Policy is ambitious & futuristic but much of its success will depend on how it is executed. While many in the government and otherwise are welcoming the change in the education sector, others have varied views.

A panel headed by Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Kasturirangan had submitted a draft NEP in December 2018, which was opened for public feedback after the Lok Sabha election in May 2019

Key Takeaways:

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). And introduction of a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options, and discontinuation of the M Phil programme

 A look at the takeaways, and their implications for students and institutions of learning:

At School Level:

  1.  NEP includes extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18. In the earlier policy it was from 5 years onwards only. Learning from an early age with reduce content load in school education curriculum.
  • Replacement of 10+2 structure of school curricula with a 5+3+3+4 structure. This structural shift would bring India at par with some of the leading countries of the world if implemented in it’s true spirit.
  • Board exams will be kept in low stakes and re-designed keeping in mind to test actual knowledge and core competencies acquired. Board exams can be taken up twice during any given school year, one main examination and one for improvement.
  •  Mother tongue, local language or regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5. This change in medium, will allow an opportunity for kids to be well versed in their local dialect. And, alternatively will increase enrollment rate in primary education. However, the school will have the right to choose which language they would want till class 5.
  •  Freedom of choice is another ingredient seen in the new education policy. This key new change in particular, makes the NEP 2020 very flexible. Mix and match subject like chemistry can be combined with history in senior schools and college is now possible. All separations between vocational, academic and extra-curricular is set to be removed.
  •  Vocational education will be integrated into all schools and higher education institutions in a phased manner over the next decade. Thus, by 2025, at least 50% of learners through school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education.
  • The report cards of students will include self-assessment by students in addition to existing teachers’ evaluation sheet. PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) – a new National Assessment Centre will be set up as a standard-setting body.

At College Level:

  1.  The UG degree will be of either 3 or 4 year duration, with multiple exit options. A student can exit with a diploma after completing one year or advanced diploma for completing 2 years of education.
  •  Higher education institutes and the definition of university will now range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges.
  • The new university entrance test will be implemented for college admissions in the 2022 academic session. There will be common entrance test (CET) based entrance for all undergraduate degree programs.
  • A National Mission for Mentoring will be established with a pool of senior and retired faculty. They will provide long-term mentoring and professional support to university and college faculties.
  • NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. Around 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to HEIs and Centre along with States will collaborate to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP.
  • Vocational knowledge developed in India – ‘Lok Vidya’, will be made accessible to students through integration into vocational education courses.
  •  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, and administration.
  • An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs which can also be transferred and counted as a part of the final degree. The curricula of all HEIs will include value-based education, environmental education, credit-based courses and projects in the areas of community engagement and service.

The NEP 2020 enforcement:

The NEP only provides a broad direction and is not mandatory to follow.

Since education is a concurrent subject. Implying that 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. Thus, will not be possible to implement immediately. Hence, the government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy.

Sufficient funding is also crucial. The NEP 2020 requires strong funding to run a stable education structure in the nation.

The govt. plans to set up subject-wise committees with members from relevant ministries at both the central and state levels. Which is to develop implementation plans for each aspect of the NEP. That includes- the HRD Ministry, state Education Departments, school Boards, NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education and National Testing Agency, among others.