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Education is a fundamental for the achievement of full human potential by promoting national development. By providing universal access to high quality education is the key to India’s success on the global stage in relation to economic growth and equal society.
The current gap between the states of learning outlines what is required to be done as compared to what the present situation is by undertaking various reforms that brings highest quality, integrity to the system starting from early childhood care and education through higher education.
The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) outlines a broad structure of the India’s New Education System. It has replaced the old structure of the National policy on Education, 1986.
It enhances in a mass scale and a huge development for both school and higher educational sectors. The new policy aims to reform the way for tremendous growth in schools and highest educational institutions.
It is built on four pillars namely Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and accountability. It mainly aims on global knowledge by making schools and college education more flexible, convenient and disciplined. It brings out the unique skills and abilities for each student.
Vision of the National Educational Policy-
By providing high quality education to everyone, it contributes to an equitable society. It also entails the duties, constitutional values and conscious awareness of one’s roles and responsibilities in the modern era. Elaborating skills, values that supports sustainable development, human rights by reflecting a responsible citizen.
Principles of this policy-
The purpose of the education system is to develop and create a better balanced thought and actions, creative imagination with moral values. A good education institution is one where each and every student should feel comfortable and being cared for, where the students are expected to learn and gain experiences and suitable resources are available to students.
The basic fundamental governing principles are as follows-
- Identifying the capabilities of each student- by promoting each student’s holistic development in both academics and non-academics.
- Flexibility- students here can choose their learning programmes and activities and based on that they can further pursue in career on the same.
- More emphasis on conceptual learning- rather than bookish knowledge and leaning before exams.
- Creativity and critical thinking- to support innovation and encourage in decision making.
- Extensive use of technology- in teaching and learning, increasing the access for viklaang students and planning of educational management.
Vision of the Policy in parts-
Part I- School education:
1. Early childhood care and Foundation: The origin of learning-
In general, a child’s brain development occurs before the age of 6 which indicates the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation which ensures the healthy development of brain at present. The main objective will be to ensure the global access to top- level ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) in a phased manner nationwide.
2. Foundational Literacy and Numeracy: An Urgent & Necessary Prerequisite to Learning-
It is a prerequisite ability to read and write and have operations with numbers for lifelong learning. Based on numerous governmental surveys it shows that currently our nation lacks in learning the very basics. On extracurricular activities, the main focus will be on reading, writing, listening with a robust system of advanced learning system to ensure each and every students learning.
The mental health of a children are a vital element in their development stage. This can be improved by providing mid-day meals.
3. Curtailing Dropout Rates and Ensuring Universal Access to Education at All Levels-
The primary goal is to ensure that the children are enrolled and are attending school regularly. Initiatives such as Right to Education Act, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. It has shown a marvelous growth and increasing in number of enrollments in educational institutions.
By providing a well- maintained infrastructure which is effective and efficient from preprimary to class 12, the students who have dropped out will come back mostly. Special care of every students must be taken care of. For EWS category, the fees of the schooling shall be at subsidized rate in government schools. Student’s active participation in school is an important responsibility which will facilitate them in the near future. The quality of education must be maintained at all time in order to retain he students by their own self-interest.
4. Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools: Learning Should be Holistic, Integrated, Enjoyable, and Engaging-
Restructuring school curriculum and pedagogy in a new 5+3+3+4 design-
The Pedagogical structure of education will help in the improvement of the students’ needs and their interests at various stages of their development consisting of age between 3-8,8-11,11-14,14-18 respectively. Hence the pedagogical structure will be guided by a 5+3+3+4 design, consisting of the Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is, 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8), Preparatory Stage (Grades 3-5, covering ages 8-11), Middle Stage (Grades 6-8, covering ages 11-14), and Secondary Stage (Grades 9-12 in two phases, i.e., 9 and 10 in the first and 11 and 12 in the second, covering ages 14-18).
5. Reduce curriculum content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking-
The contents of curriculum will be reduced in each subject to its core essential element in order to create space for analytical thinking and more holistic in nature for learning. It will mainly focus on applications, ideas and problem-solving.
6. Empower students through flexibility in course choices-
Students will have flexibility and choice of courses for studies, especially in secondary school which focuses on physical education, art and craft, etc which will facilitate them to set a path to their career life.
7. National Textbooks with Local Content and Flavor-
The textbooks shall primarily contain the essential core material which is important on a national level but it must also contain any supplementary materials which is needful to the society at a large. Also the main target will be make available the quality textbooks at a minimal rate just like the production rate.
8. Transforming Assessment for Student Development-
The main objective of the assessment will be learning, it will help in the student teacher learning process and also the entire schooling system to determine development and learning for all students.
As the Board exams for Class 10 and 12 will be continued, to reduce the burden of taking coaching classes, existing system of entrance examinations shall be reformed. Tracking the progress of each and every students will improve their learning skills and analytical reasoning.
9. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)-
Teachers will be provided ample opportunities for their self-improvement and to have the orientation of the latest technologies to advance their profession and teaching. School principals and school infrastructure will have development platforms and management workshops in order to develop and share best practices with others.
10. Special educators-
There is a vital role for additional special educators for specific areas of teaching such as children with disabilities or Divyaang children at the secondary and senior secondary school level. Apart from the knowledge of common elements of subject, the teachers should also be prepared for special requirements for special child.
11. Approach to educational qualification for teachers-
The Govt. of India has set an objective that by 2030, the minimum qualification degree for teaching in schools or colleges will be 4 year integrated B.Ed. degree that includes a depth knowledge of the core elements of teaching and also strong practicum training in a method of student learning at schools.
It is deemed that there shall be multiple pedegagocial approaches globally for teaching specific subjects, the NCERT will together club the research, study, document to reach a varied international approaches for teaching different subjects.
12. Equitable and Inclusive Education: Learning for All-
Education is the primary tool for achieving social justice and equality. Inclusive and equitable education is an essential aim in its own right where every citizen dream to study. This new education policy will also acknowledge the importance to promote education of children belonging to all minority communities and also those who remain unattended. The awareness among teachers regarding how to interact the student with special disabilities with utmost care will be an integral part of teacher educational programme.
13. Efficient Resourcing and Effective Governance through School Complexes/Clusters-
The small schools in our country have economical average support and complex operationally to run the school in an efficient manner in term of the enrolment of the school teachers of physical resources. The environment teaching in small schools have a negative impact on student teacher learning. Administration structure in small schools, not efficiently operative based on the increase in the school students with unified structure of the Samagra Shiksha Scheme.
14. Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education-
The goal of every school is to improve their education reformatory system in order to provide a seamless educational outcomes, it shall not restrict schools in some performances or lower down the moral of students or teachers.
The educational operations service matters for public schooling system will be dealt by the Directorate of School Education (including the offices of DEO and BEO) which will work as an independent body to implement policies regarding educational operations.
An effective quality accreditation system will ensure the quality education and efficient operations of educational and schooling system with essential equality standards.
Public and private schools will be accredited (Central govt schools exception will be levied) will be assessed and accredited on the same criteria, rules and regulations which will enunciate both physical and virtual transparency and disclosure to public in general.
The standard setting system for school regulation, accreditation and governance shall be reviewed in due course of time in order to enable improvements in the areas of leaning for school students and teachers as well.
Careful attention is essential for the children and adolescents must not be left behind in this entire process, it is primarily designed for them. The growth of such mechanisms that are well-known, effective and timely to all student will be accorded at high priority.
Part II. HIGHER EDUCATION
15. Quality Universities and Colleges: A New and Forward-looking Vision for India’s Higher Education System-
In our today’s generation, having a qualification of higher degree is a must in order to pursue any higher studies or job in the near future. Higher education aims to create a well-rounded and creative individuals. For the purpose of developing holistic skills, it is necessary that an identified set of skills and values will be incorporated at every stage of learning starting from pre-school till higher education.
There are few issues at present which is being faced by the majority in Higher education system of India-
i) Less emphasis on the growth of cognitive skills and learning outcomes
ii) limited teacher and rigid institutional autonomy
iii) an ineffective regulatory system
iv) rigid separation of disciplines of students in schools.
This policy has following key changes with regards to current system-
i) establishing a highly multidisciplinary undergraduate education
ii) enhancing faculty training teaching and institutional autonomy
iii) restructuring the enrolling of teachers and institutional leaders through merit qualification based on research, skills, knowledge, etc.
iv) regulation by a single regulator for higher education.
16. Institutional Restructuring and Consolidation-
The main aim of this policy relating to the higher education is to diminish the fragmentation of higher education by transforming the higher educational institutions into multidisciplinary
Colleges and universities. The same will be the aim to achieve students above 3000. This will help students to be all rounded disciplinary in various subjects namely analytical, sports, etc. A university will have a multidisciplinary institution that offers undergraduates and post graduate programmes with high quality teaching and top level management for operations.
17. Towards a More Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education-
A holistic and multidisciplinary education aims to develop well diverse knowledge and extra set of skills in every students in an integrated manner. The structure of every UG/PG courses should be flexible with regards to multiple exit options. For e.g- a certificate shall be provided after completing 1 year in a discipline, or a diploma after 2 years of study, or a bachelor’s degree after 3 years. However the 4 years bachelor degree will be the preferred option as it will allow a student to experience the full range of their holistic and in addition to that a focus on the chosen major as per the interests of the student.
18. Optimal Learning Environments and Support for Students-
In order to promote innovative ideas, educational institutions will have the authority to innovate on the issues regarding to assessment, curricular within a large framework of higher educational qualifications.
Each institution will formulate its own academic plans which may be subject to change on a yearly basis. It shall range from curricular improvement to quality of classroom interaction into its bigger Institutional Development Plan (IDP).
Students from socio-economically backward background require motivation and encouragement to make a successful development to higher studies.
A finance assistance shall be provided to eligible students based on the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The portal of National Scholarship will be expanded to support and monitor the progress of students receiving scholarships.
19. Transforming the Regulatory System of Higher Education-
In order to regulate the mechanism, the primary step will be the accreditation. The same will be done by National Accreditation Council (NAC). Accreditation of institutions will be done based on basic norms, better governance, quality of education which will be carried out by an independent body which is supervised and monitored by National Accreditation Council (NAC).
20. Effective Governance and Leadership for Higher Education Institutions-
It enables in creating a culture of excellence and innovation in educational institutions.
Part III. OTHER KEY AREAS OF FOCUS
21. Professional Education-
Professional education must be especially involved in analytical and interdisciplinary thinking, debates, research and innovation. In order to achieve it, professional education must not take place in one’s specialty of isolation. It is an integral part of the higher education system.
22. Technology Use and Integration-
Our nation’s Digital India Campaign is providing every resource available to digitally empower the society and the economy nationwide. Technology has a greater impact for our today’s global situation, every sessions of schools and colleges are being conducted online through various platforms.
Part IV. MAKING IT HAPPEN
23. Strengthening the Central Advisory Board of Education-
This policy recommends for the strengthening of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) which will be regulating and providing a widespread suggestions and examinations of matters relating to educational and cultural development.
To bring the focus back on education and learning, it is desirable that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) be re-designated as the Ministry of Education (MoE).
In order to bring into force for this policy, implementation will be required by the designated authority in this behalf. Therefore the implementation of this policy will be headed by various bodies including MHRD, Union and State Governments, State department of Education, regulatory bodies of school and higher education in order to ensure that the policy is implemented in its good spirit for all. In the late 2030s, the entire policy will be operational throughout the country, and comprehensive review will be taken accordingly.
Author: Abhinaba Pal, ICFAI LAW SCHOOL, HYDERABAD
Editor: Kanishka Vaish, Senior Editor, LexLife India.