New National Education Policy: The Dawn of a New Era of Education in India
The Nation has witnessed modifications in the National Education Policy after three decades. Previously, it was amended in 1986 and revised in 1992. In the last 34 years, India has seen some significant changes in society, learning methods, students’ needs, and global transformation in education at large. To level up with the 21st-century needs, our education leaders have made some significant changes to implement foundational literacy and numeracy.
The new National Education Policy (NEP) is more focused on the wholesome development of students from school and higher education. The Indian government allocated 6% of GDP to education as a public investment which was 4.43% before. It is a step to make India a knowledge superpower by bringing quality, research, and innovation in the Indian education system. It is clearly what our education policy needed, considering the present world scenario.
Here are the seven significant changes to understand in the new National Education Policy:
- Schooling will start at the age of 3 years now.
According to the New Education Policy, the age group of mandatory schooling is now shifted to 3-18 years from 6-14 years. The NEP has announced to have 12 years of education along with three years of pre-schooling.
- Mother tongue as medium of instruction
Keeping in mind that students comprehend better when they receive the information in the language they understand, the NEP focuses on local/regional/mother tongue as the medium of instruction. It still sticks to three language formulas and mandates that no single language be forced on any student. The policy instructed educators to use this new medium of instruction until grade 5, but preferably until Grade 8 and beyond. This will apply to both public and private schools.
- One body for Higher Education- NO UGC, AICTE, NCTE
The NEP 2020 will set up one umbrella body for higher education except for medical and law. HECI or Higher Education Commission of India or will be an overarching organization to manage higher education. Both public & private higher educational institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation and academic standards.
- Inclusion of experiential learning in schools
To improve competency-based learning in educational institutions, the new NEP announced to bring Experiential learning that will include hands-on learning, sports-integrated education, arts-integrated and, story-telling-based learning, among others, as standard pedagogy.
- Establishment of an e-Education unit and National Education Technology Forum (NETF)
To look after the e-education and pace up the online learning program, a department will be created in the MHRD for schools and higher educational institutions to build the digital infrastructure and digital content. India is a vast country, and considering the recent uncertainties arising due to situations like the coronavirus pandemic, online education is prompted to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of learning and reaching the remotest areas of the country.
- Beginning of vocational studies at school-level
The policy has put the importance of vocational studies at the school level to ensure that every child learns at least one vocation and is exposed to several more.
A sampling of critical vocational crafts, such as carpentry, electric work, metalwork, gardening, pottery making, etc., and as the states decide and the community decides for 6-8 grade. The policy mentioned that by 2025, at least 50% of learners from schools and higher education systems should have exposure to vocational education.
- Coding Education from class 6 onwards
To make skill-based learning a top priority; the HRD ministry (now Education Ministry) is bringing coding education for students of class 6 and onwards in schools as a part of the 21st-century must-have-skills. According to the ministry, this step will help Indian students to stand in the vanguard in the world of the digital era.
With the dramatic change in the knowledge landscape, it has become very crucial to create a skilled workforce in the country, and it starts with quality education right from the beginning. With the implementation of the New National Education Policy, India is focusing more on learning rather than grading. It is a step towards becoming a developed nation and the three largest economies in the world. India must aim to provide equal opportunity and highest-quality education to all the learners irrespective of their socio-economic background. The NEP 2020 has the potential to bring that change!
Interested to know more? Learn all about the new National Education Policy here.
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