Need for change: "One size does NOT fit all"
India, as a highly populated country with a vast social difference across states, necessitates a vision to create a single multidisciplinary learning environment for the overall development of each individual, children as well as adults. In addition, to involve all social groups, the vision implements the policy of equity and inclusivity. The Education Ministry, with the New Education Policy (NEP), aims to bring changes for better education and focus on the practical application of knowledge for an exciting new innovative society.
The new education policy demands reformation in school and university education system for the welfare of future generation. The changes brought by NEP could lead to better education and more focus on practical and application knowledge leading to a vibrant knowledge hub. Vision of the NEP 2020:
For an equitable, innovative, and knowledgeable society, the policy sets up an accessible education system for all, providing high-quality education.
To bring about conscious awareness of students’ duties and responsibilities, the education system will focus on the instilment of respect at an early age.
The schooling education system will put more focus on the holistic development of the students to create responsible citizens of India, upholding sustainability, global well- being and innovation.
Features of the NEP 2020:
New school structure: The previous school structure 10 + 2 has been replaced by the pedagogical structure 5 + 3 + 3 + 2. The new structure includes 5 years of foundational education, 3 years of preparatory, 3 years of middle schooling, and 4 years of high (secondary) schooling.
Graduation: 4-years Bachelor course will be preferred where any dropouts will receive credit. Graduation courses will have major as well as minor subjects where students can choose from several combinations. The grading system for all universities, private, open, deemed, vocational, etc., will be the same along with the other rules. The course fees will be governed by a single authority with capping on each course.
Curriculum: Core concepts in every subject are retained. More focus will be placed on skill-based learning with an emphasis on critical thinking. The mandatory skills to be included in the curriculum will put basis for first aid, sustenance, and sports. Students will be made to participate in several curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular subjects to realize their skills and talents. Grade 8 to 11 students can choose their subjects based on their ability to apply knowledge and concepts.
Examinations: These exams will mainly focus on testing students based on their application of knowledge and core concepts. The results will be used for developmental and improvement purposes, to continuously monitor the student’s learning. Board exams will focus mainly on essential skills and core concepts, which can be taken twice for improvement. The students will be judged based on their learning through objective and subjective papers.
Medium of instruction: Up to Grade 5, or preferably till Grade 8, the medium of instruction will be mother tongue or local language. There will be options for several classical languages for the students who wish to study them.
Report Cards: The assessment cards will also include the 360-degree holistic development of students, involving parents in the children’s education. The multidimensional reports in many domains such as mental, social, emotional and psychomotor behavior are also reflected.
Vocational Education: From Grade 6 onwards, vocational courses are available as a practice-based curriculum, focusing on skills development. Many opportunities are exposed to students to analyze their skills.
Impact on Student's learnings and development: The flexibility in curriculum, vocational activities, various combinations of courses will allow for the development of many skills. This policy will benefit the students interested in multidisciplinary learning in higher studies. Since the students participate in all curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities, the overall development of the students can increase their chances of getting more opportunities in various fields. Focus on the skill development, behavior, critical thinking, application of knowledge, and instilling responsibilities and values in students will cause a transformation in upholding pillars of sustainability, respect, and innovation.