Since India received Independence in 1947, Maulana Azad, the first Minister of Education, contemplated a uniform education system in the entire country which would be controlled by central government.
Since then a variety of programmes were sponsored to address the issues related to illiteracy in both rural as well as urban areas in the country.
The National Policy on Education (NPE) was formulated to boost the spread of education amongst the citizens of the country by the Government. This Education Policy envelops the elementary education in all the parts of the country.
In the year 1968, the first NPE was published by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; the second one was published in 1986 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The third and the most recent NPE were published by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 29, 2020.
The National Policy on Education strives to provide equal rights to education for every citizen of the country. The new NPE draft has replaced the 34 year old policy after consulting knowledgeable people.
Many important points such as reduction in the curriculum to focus on essential learning which is based on critical thinking are considered while creating the draft. The educational learning will be based on discussion and analysis.
Here are some advantages of the new draft of National Policy of Education 2020:
The Union Cabinet approved a plan to expand the expenditure on education to 6% of the total GDP which was just 1.7% previously. The new policy seeks to attain global adult literacy and make higher education more accessible to high school students over 50% by 2035.
2. Importance of Board Exam to be reduced, exam can be conducted twice a year
Board exams will be based on knowledge application. To reduce the pressure caused by board exams, the board exam pattern has been made flexible. The students will be able to take up the exams twice during any given school year, one examination would be objective and the other would be descriptive.
3.HECI - Common regulatory body for higher education
Excluding Medical and legal studies, HECI (Higher Education Commission of India) will become the only underlying body for entire higher education. Other regulatory bodies such as University Grants Commission or all India Council for Technical Education will be replaced.
4. Dedicated unit for Digital and Online Learning
To take care of the e-education needs of the schools and colleges, the Ministry of Human Resource Department (MHRD), also known as ‘Education Ministry’ has decided to setup a dedicated unit to arrange and build the required infrastructure, to create digital content for learning and build the capacity. In recent days, due to rise in epidemics and pandemics, being prepared with alternate modes of quality education has become indispensable.
5. More focus on Vocational Studies at School-level
As per the policy, every child must learn at least one vocational skill and should be exposed to many. The vocational skills such as Gardening, Pottery, Carpentry, electric work, Metal work, crafts, etc will be mandatory for students between 6th to 8th grades as decided by State and local communities.
By 2025, at least 50% of students from schools and higher education should have exposure to acquire any vocational skill. Sometime during grades 6th to 8th, a bagless period for 10 days will be organized to intern with local vocational experts such as carpenters, gardeners, potters, artists, etc. Online vocational courses also will be available.
6. Content will focus on idea, application and problem solving
The educational content which is chosen as well as mandatory for students will be more focused on understanding the key concepts, ideas, applications of the concepts and to solve problems using them. Teaching and learning activities will be conducted in a more interactive manner.
7. Coding to be taught from class 6 onward
As a part of 21st century skills, coding will be taught to students from class 6th onwards. Students can learn to create games and applications on different platforms such as Android, IOS, Windows, etc
As the previous education policy has been prevailing since three decades, hence there is a need to formulate a new education policy to match the needs of the Indian citizens and the demands of the 21st century.
India can become a knowledge superpower when supported by strong pillar of knowledge, innovation and research.
The new National Education Policy 2020, intends to renovate the education system by making some characteristic changes and integrate Indian education system with global patterns, do away traditional patterns of by hearting and memorising and instil confidence and nationalistic pride among students.
Implementation of new education policy is likely to be in multiple phases. Entire execution of proposal would take at least 4 to 5 years of time. Teachers, educators need to be trained for new methodology of assessments, focus on vocational courses and curriculum.
Syllabus of K12 education would change drastically.
Proposal of new education policy is certainly looking promising but execution of it would be the key parameter for success.