As the most awaited National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was announced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development AKA now known as the Ministry of Education, there have been many questions about how this new policy affects the way education is seen and heard in our country. This has direct links with the development of EdTech and whole new style of assessment as well. By focusing on these aspects, the NEP ensures that there is a whole new structure and whole new syllabus for the subjects that already exist and those that will be introduced. Further, the way education is dispensed in terms of technology as well as the method of teaching, will go through a major change as well. This is because, the mode of teaching and the new normal, now go hand in hand. 

Accordingly, there are three drafts prepared by the Union ministry after the Independence of India which have now seen a major change thanks to the NEP 2020: 

  1. National Education Policy (NEP) 1968
  2. National Education Policy (NEP) 1986
  3. National Education Policy (NEP) 2020

It has been more than three decades and finally the draft of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has been launched. India already has the highest population of young people in the world – a trend that will continue over the next decade. Finally, our ability to provide high quality educational opportunities to them will determine the future of our country.

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 cleared by the cabinet is only third major revamp of the framework of education in India since Independence. The aim of NEP 2020 introduced to make India a Global Knowledge Superpower.

Key Points in The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 

  • 10+2 Education System Replaced with the 5+3+3+4 Systems.

In the present system, the education of the child starts at the age of 6 years but in the new education system its starts between the age of 3 to 6 years in terms of Preschool.

The takeaway: To prepare a child at an early age without unnecessary pressure.

  • Introduction of Vocational Training from Class Sixth Onwards

This idea of Vocational Training will work as skill improvement in almost every field for the children. All students will participate in a 10-day bag-less period sometime during Grades 6-8 where they intern with local vocational experts such as carpenters, gardeners, potters, artists, and others. Similar internship opportunities to learn vocational subjects may be made available to students throughout Grades 6-12, including holiday periods. This training workshop provides better work ethics towards every type of work, which is nowadays categorized as a basic standard of work.

India has always been lacking decent infrastructure and templates for consistent and high quality digital education. Even B. Tech students completed their degrees without having the proper knowledge of coding languages. This new rule will help in computational thinking, ethical and moral reasoning, among various other things.

  • The Intensity of the Board Exams is Reduced

The major burden on Parents and Students is to score the maximum grades or marks during the very feared and very pressure filled board examinations. This has now been reduced by mandating the conduct of an exam at least twice a year. So now everyone has two or more chances to improve their grades.

  • Art, Commerce and Science Streams are Abolished

A major change proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is to choose any MAJOR + MINOR subjects from a stream instead of choosing only one stream, namely Art, Commerce and Science. This will provide more flexibility within our rigid education system. It will also give higher exposure to students from all streams and help to equalize their standing. 

  • Create a Self-Assessment Portal PARAKH

PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic development) will improve Critical Thinking in children to evaluate oneself by oneself at very early stages. Report cards will include Self-Assessment by students in addition to the existing Teacher’s evaluation sheet. This will make students more self aware of where they need to put in extra work and it will also help them find their own unique capabilities. 

  • A Blow to Rote Learning

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is placing an emphasis on Conceptual Understanding rather than Rote Learning. The idea of rote learning has always been detrimental for our education system because it might help a student pass an exam, but there is no real knowledge of implementation happening here. 

  • Integration of Higher Education in a Single Body Higher Education Commission of India(HECI)

All bodies related to higher education like UGC, AICTE, and NCTE are abolished. There will be one single regulatory body for all higher education streams except in Legal and Medicine Education. So from the implementation of this policy, there will be a single body to act on all higher education streams except these two.

  • Introduced Multiple Entry–Exit Program 

After the Class 12th, students can drop a particular stream and instead join a stream that they feel more passionately about and have a greater aptitude for. The credits earned from all the subjects studied before dropping out, will be transferred to the next stream they are admitted into. This way everyone can pursue the topics that interest them.

In UG Degree courses, if one leaves after completing the following, here is what they get:

  1. First Year – Certificate Course including Vocational and Professional areas.
  2. Second Year – Diploma.
  3. Third Year – Bachelor’s Degree.
  4. Final Year – Multidisciplinary Bachelor’s Degree.

In PG Degree Courses,

  1. M. Phil Degree program is abolished.
  2. In MA and M.Sc program is shortened by One year for Four Years UG Degree and Two years for the Three Years Degree program.
  • Give Permission to Foreign Universities to Open Campus in India

In this policy, the Government opens the door for Foreign Universities to provide their study program in India, so that everyone can have an opportunity to gain an entry in these Institutions.

  • Talk About a 6% Boost to the GDP 

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has a Clause of increase in Expenditure to almost 6% of GDP on the Education Sector, which is now below 3% of our GDP.

Targets to be set in The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 

  • Universalization of education from Preschool to Secondary level with 100% GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) in school education done by the year 2030.
  • GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) in higher education to be raised to 50% by the year 2035.
  • New standards and training on online tools for teachers by the year 2022.
  • Criteria for minimum qualification for teacher will be 4 years of integrated BA Degree by the year 2030.

This draft of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 have many points that are praiseworthy, yet some points are not very clear. Like the Clause which states wherever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and beyond will be mother tongue language/ regional or local language. This also states that no language will be imposed on any students. The part about languages and linguistic training needs to be further clarified.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is looks good on paper, but the implementation would be worth observing. Because India always lacking in implementation and monitoring work when it comes to such policies, we would have to see how these sweeping changes would be implemented across the realities of urban, rural and semi rural students. There are many hurdles including the lack of infrastructure and, no basic facility, no quality education. Further, in digital literacy we are so far below the standards of other countries that less than 10% of the population has access to it. There is a lot of work needed to provide quality education to every single child to make a Happy and Proud India.

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