After 34 years India gets a New Education Policy

New Policy on Education was introduced on Wednesday, July 29. On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the National Education Policy 2020, paving the way for transformational changes in the education and higher education sector in the country.

Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Prakash Javadekar and Human Resources Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank released a statement on NEP-2020. Earlier on May 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the draft NEP-2020 prepared by a panel of experts headed by former Chief Kasturirangan of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

NEP 2020 aims to make “India a Global Knowledge Dominant.” The new academic session will begin in September-October – a pause due to the unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the government aims to enforce the policy before the new session begins.

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  • HECI-Traditional higher education regulatory body

India’s Higher Education Commission(HECI) will be set up as a single overall higher education agency, excluding medical and legal education. HECI will have four autonomous verticals-National Regulatory Council for Higher Education (NHERC) for oversight, General Education Council (GEC) for standard-setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding and National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.

  • NIOS, open courses for grade 3, 5 and 8 by schools

NIOS and State Open Schools will also offer levels A, B, and C equivalent to grades 3, 5, and 8 of the formal school system; secondary education programs equivalent to grades 10 and 12; vocational training courses/programs; and adult literacy and life enrichment programs.

  • Board exams can be conducted twice a year 

The examination should be performed in two sections to reduce the significance and burden of the board test: objective and descriptive. The exam can be carried out twice a year. Board exams would encourage the application of skills rather than rotary learning

The National Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of eight will be developed by the National Council for Education Research and Training ( NCERT).

  • Modern Academic and Curriculum Framework

For a recent pedagogical and program reform with 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 covering ages 3-18 the current 10 + 2 system of school education will be changed. Children in the 3-6 age range are currently not bound by the 10 + 2 system, since Class 1 starts at age 6. A solid foundation of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from age 3 is now part of the current 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 system.

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  • Economic flexibility for 45 k affiliated colleges 

Our nation comprises over 45,000 affiliated colleges. Under Graded Autonomy, Colleges will be granted Regulatory, Educational and Financial Autonomy, depending on the level of their accreditation: Amit Khare Higher Education Secretary

  • Education complexes to be used for Adult Education after school hours

Usage of complexes outside school hours and public library facilities for adult education courses that will be ICT-equipped wherever possible and for other civic engagement and enrichment programs.

  • More emphasis on vocational training at the school level

Each child must learn at least one vocation and be exposed to many others. A sampling of important skilled crafts such as carpentry, electrical work, metalworking, farming, pottery making, etc. as determined by States and local communities during Grades 6-8. By 2025, at least 50% of learners across the school and higher education systems will be exposed to technical education. A ten-day bagless duration, sometime during Grades 6-8, for internships with local technical experts such as carpenters, gardeners, potters, artists, etc. Vocational courses through online mode will also be made available.

  • NIOS  will create high-quality modules for the Indian sign language

NIOS will develop high-quality Indian Sign Language teaching modules and other basic subjects using Indian Sign Language.

  • Introduction of Kendriya Vidyalayas Pre-school section

Kendriya Vidyalayas and other primary schools across the country will be introduced to the pre-school sections providing at least one year of early childhood care and education, especially in deprived areas.

  • NCC wings in high schools and higher education under the Ministry of Defence

State governments may promote the opening of NCC wings in their secondary and high schools, including those located in tribal-dominated areas, under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence

  • No cost boarding facilities at JNV

Free boarding facilities will be built-in line with the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya requirements particularly for students with socio-economic disadvantages

  • Dedicated Digital and Virtual learning network.

In the MHRD, a dedicated unit will be established to plan and execute the development of digital technology, digital content, and capacity building to meet the e-education needs of both the school and higher education levels. A detailed series of guidelines for encouraging online education as a result of the rapid increase of epidemics and pandemics to ensure that alternate forms of quality education are planned whenever and whenever conventional and in-person instructional approaches are not available

  • National Scholarship platform to be extended for SC, ST, OBC, SEDG students

There will be attempts to incentivize the interest of SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDG graduates. The National Scholarship Portal will be extended to help, cultivate, and monitor the success of scholarship-receiving students. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer their students greater amounts of free ships and scholarships.

Along with these key points, a large number of small provisions have also been introduced.

The Ministries of Human Rights, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs will jointly carry out the planning and implementation of the ECCE.

The new strategy aims at universalizing education from pre-school to secondary education with a GER of 100 percent in school education by 2030, according to the release.

This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the 34-year-old National Education Policy (NPE) of 1986. Based on the basic pillars of Access, Opportunity, Performance, Affordability, and Accountability, this strategy is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to turn India into a vibrant information society and a global knowledge-based super-power by making education in schools and colleges more comprehensive, versatile, multidisciplinary, responsive to the needs of the 21st century and aimed at making it more inclusive.

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