India has released a new National Education Policy (NEP) after 34 years, which can be described as not only bold, innovative and imaginative, but also practical and scientific.
The first new education policy in 34 years, the Union Cabinet‘s New Education Policy (NEP), has introduced a number of reforms to the Indian education system. Beginning with the renaming of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development as the Ministry of Education, the new policy envisages providing the country’s education system with a new structure. NEP proposes to revise and revamp all aspects of the education structure, including its regulation and governance, from school education to higher education, to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st-century education, while remaining consistent with the traditions and value systems of India. Some of the critical features for the higher education sector are the introduction of a four-year undergraduate degree with multiple entries and exit options, the withdrawal of M.Phil. from the system and the establishment of a standard higher education regulation with fee review for both private and public institutions. For schools, the new policy envisages universalizing early childhood education from 3-6 years of age by 2030, a new school curriculum with class 6 coding and vocational studies, and the mother tongue of children being used as a means of instruction until grade 5. In a nutshell, NEP aims to build a best-in-class education system based on Indian ethos, transforming India into a global knowledge super power.
In these reforms, teaching content is a key aspect. Key concepts, ideas, applications, and problem-solving will be the focus of the revised mandated content. Teaching and learning will be conducted in a more interactive way that will concentrate on the solution of ideas, implementation and problems. There is a clear nudge to hands-on learning with an emphasis on experiential learning; arts-integrated and sports-integrated education and story-telling-based pedagogy. Classroom transactions will shift towards learning and education based on competency.
Multiple bodies, including the Ministry of Education, state education departments, school boards and other educational entities, will list the measures to be taken in the plans. The planning will be followed by an annual joint review of progress towards the established targets. The government has set the goal of implementing the NEP in its entirety by 2040. Continuous and sufficient funding is a key aspect of its implementation.