After 34 years, India has ushered in a new National Education Policy (NEP) that aims to revamp the education system in India. From seeking to scrap MPhil, introducing the four-year undergraduate course, 100 per cent enrolment up to secondary schools by 2030 to increase in public investment to 6 per cent of GDP -- the NEP could bring transformational reforms in school and higher education to make India a global knowledge superpower. The Centre will now notify the NEP 2020, following which it'll become operational across the country.
Here's a quick explainer on the National Education Policy 2020.
What is 5+3+3+4 curricular structure?
As per the new policy, the 10+2 structure of school curricula will be replaced with a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to age groups 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years, respectively. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognised globally as the crucial stage for the development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling.
The NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8. The ECCE will be delivered through a significantly expanded system of Anganwadis and pre-schools.
What are the reforms carried out in school curricula and pedagogy?
The school curricula and pedagogy will equip students with the 21st century skills, including essential learning and critical thinking, and greater focus will be given on experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade and will include internships.
Will students be able to study the language of their choice?
The policy has emphasised mother tongue or regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardised across the country.
What will be the criteria to evaluate students?
The NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity. All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8, which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim. A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body.
How will undergraduate and post-graduate streams work?
The UG education will be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example, a certificate after a year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor's Degree after 3 years and Bachelor's with Research after 4 years. An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned and they will be counted in the final degree. Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities at par with IITs, and IIMs will be set up across the country.