New Education Policy 2020: 5 Big Changes
Created by Shalini Singh Updated on Jul 31, 2020
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet, Government of India replaced a 34 year old National Policy on Education, the one framed in 1986, with the New Education Policy of 2020. This is done keeping in mind the present employment scenario.
This meant extensive changes in school and higher education. Let us look at the takeaways and how this will affect students and institutions of learning.
Some of the highlights include
A single regulator for higher education institutions
Multiple entry and exit options in degree courses
Discontinuation of MPhil Programmes
Common Entrance Exams for Universities
Low stakes board exams and these will test actual knowledge
New Education Policy 2020: Key Points
1. Schooling starts at the age of 3 years now
The NEP expands the age group 6-14 years of compulsory schooling to 3-18 years of schooling. It introduces the uncovered three years of pre-schooling, age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum. This implies that the new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi / pre-schooling.
With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10 + 2 structure of school curriculum is to be replaced by a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 curricular structure. This corresponds to these ages: 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
2. Mother tongue as the medium of instruction
The National Education Policy puts focus on the mother tongue as the medium of instruction even though it sticks to the three language formula. It only recommends Hindi as the medium of instruction, and does not make it compulsory.
The policy clearly states that the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language, mother tongue, local language or the regional language, wherever possible. And so the home or local language shall continue to be taught as a language. This shall be followed by both public and private schools.
3. No AICTE, NCTE and UGC
The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching body for higher education. This however excludes medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions shall be governed by the same set of norms for regulation and standards.
4. Science, arts, commerce gets blurred
Under the New Education Policy, there will be no right distinctions between arts and sciences, between vocational and academic streams, and also between curricular and extracurricular activities. All separations between vocational and academic and curricular and extracurricular shall be removed.
Vocational education will start from the 6th grade in schools. This will also include internships.
5. FYUP Programme Returns & No More Dropouts
Undergraduate degrees will be of either 3 or 4-year duration with multiple exit options within this period. College will be required to give a certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor's degree after a 3-year program.
The New Education Policy, that promotes multi-disciplinary education, aims to focus on basic literacy and basic numeracy and major changes in the pedagogical structure of curriculum with no rigid separation between streams.
Expected Outcomes of NEP 2020
The new policy aims to do the following:
Universalization of access
Ensure equity and inclusion
Bring back out-of-school children
Attain Sustainable Development Goals of retaining all children in schools until completion of secondary education
Encourage Critical Thinking, Core Essentials and Experiential Learning
Improve Quality and achievement of learning outcomes
Foundational Literacy & Numeracy (FLN)
Effective Governance and Common Norms
Overcoming the language barrier in learning
Common standards for public and private school education
Broad approach to learning
How will these reforms be implemented?
The NEP only provides a direction and it is not compulsory to follow. The reforms proposed can be implemented collaboratively by the Center and the states. The government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy.
What does the emphasis on mother tongue mean for English-medium schools?
Most government schools in the country are doing this already. The provision of mother tongue as a medium of instruction was not compulsory for states.
What about people in transferable jobs, or children of multilingual parents?
There is no specific information around children of parents with transferable jobs. Teachers however will be encouraged to use a bilingual approach.
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