Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed students at the School Education Conclave on Friday. Speaking about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that seeks to overhaul the Indian education system, PM Modi batted for primary education in regional languages. PM Modi called the NEP 2020 the foundation of a new India. He also emphasised that a lot of students drop out because they do not have the freedom of choosing their own subjects -- something that the NEP strives to set right. PM Modi said that NEP would make learning fun and not a task. He also encouraged students to be inquisitive and ask questions. "To take the journey of 'lean-to-read' to 'read-to-learn', we are taking steps to strengthen the foundation of literacy," said PM Modi during the address.
The Prime Minister pointed out that in order to learn, India also needs to unlearn a lot. He urged teachers, NGOs, organisations, students as well as parents to join the national mission. PM Modi in his speech also said that to ensure better learning, one must not limit education to the four walls of a classroom but engage with the outside world as well.
PM Modi also advocated the use of regional languages for primary education. "We need to see that most of the student's energy should be spent on learning the subject and not the medium of instruction. A child should understand what he or she is taught," he said, giving examples of countries where elementary education is imparted in the mother tongue. He pointed out that parents in rural regions are not involved because they do not understand the mode of teaching. He, however, said that along with the mother tongue, English and international languages would also be taught.
The Prime Minister said that the reason behind a high drop-out ratio is that students do not have the freedom of selecting their own subject -- something that NEP would offer. "Now, students will not have to be limited to the boundaries of commerce, science, and humanities. They will be able to choose any subject they want," he added.
NEP will reduce the syllabus and make learning a fun-based activity, said PM Modi. "By 2022, our students will join the new curriculum. It will be future-ready and scientific," he said.
PM Modi also encouraged students to ask questions and be inquisitive. He also advocated for the practical aspect of education. "A large section of students is kept away from the practical aspect of education. Vocational training is often looked down upon. We need to sensitise our students," he said.
The PM said that the Ministry of Education has received over 15 lakh suggestions from teachers on the NEP 2020 within a week on the mygov portal.