New Education Policy 2020: Effect on School Education to Higher Education

New Education Policy 2020: The Union Cabinet has approved the New Education Policy (NEP) and renamed the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) as Education Ministry.

The main focus for this decision of changing names was on bringing back the education and learning, as per the recommendations listed in the draft on new education policy.

(In this matter, I&B Minister Prakash Javedkar said, “The Cabinet meeting is chaired by the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi”.)

New Education Policy 2020

On the other hand, Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary stated that “As on date, we have different norms for deemed universities, central universities, for different individual standalone institutions. New Education Policy says that for a reason of quality, norms will be same for all and not as per ownership”.

Outcomes of NEP 2020:

  • Universalisation from ECCE to Secondary Education by 2030, aligning with SDG4.
  • Teachers to be prepared for assessment reforms by 2023.
  • Board exams to test core concepts and application of knowledge
  • Every child will come out of school learning at least one skill
  • 100% GER in Pre-School to Secondary Level by 2030
  • Inclusive and Equitable Education System by 2030

NEP2020: School Education Key Highlights

  1. Existing 10+2 Structure to be modified to 5+3+3+4 structure where the first three years would be formative playschool years of nursery and Kindergarten. The structure would cover the ages of 3 to 18 years. 
  2. Foundational State of 3 and 2 years would include playschool and Grades 1 and 2, Preparatory Stages of Grade 3 to 5, Middle School of Grades 6 to 8 and Secondary Stage of Grades 9 to 12. 
  3. Emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education or ECCE for ages 3 to 6 where provisions would be made to ensure universal access to high qualify ECCE across the country in a phased manner. 
  4. 4 years for higher secondary gets lift up – Arts, Commerce, Science removed – Students to choose what they want to choose. Coding to begin from Class 6. Music, Arts, Sports, would be at the same level. Students will be given increased flexibility and choice of subjects to study, particularly in secondary school – including subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills 
  5. Early childhood care and education to get a complete National mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy to be set up to focus on foundational literacy. 
  6. Indian Knowledge Systems, Languages, Culture and Values to be given focus. Furthermore, Technology would be used extensively. E-Content in Regional Languages would be developed and not only in Hindi and English. Schools to be digitally equipped. National Educational Technology Forum, NETF would be formed. 
  7. All-State/UT governments will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 to be achieved by 2025.
  8. NIOS and State Open Schools will also offer A, B and C levels that are equivalent to Grades 3, 5, and 8 of the formal school system; secondary education programs that are equivalent to Grades 10 and 12; vocational education courses/programs; and adult literacy and life-enrichment programs.
  9. Curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to its core essentials – key concepts, ideas, applications and problem-solving. Emphasis on critical thinking and more holistic, inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based learning
  10. The three-language learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of the students, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India.

NEP 2020: Higher Education Key Highlights

  1. Regulatory System of Higher Education to be distinct for regulation, accreditation, funding and academic standard-setting – all under the umbrella of Higher Education Commission of India or HECI.
  2. 4 Verticals of HECI to be National Higher Education Regulatory Council or HNERC, National Accreditation Council (NAC), Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) and General Education Council (GEC) which would further form a National Higher Education Qualification Framework. 
  3. UGC, AICTE to be replaced by a single Higher Education Regulator – HECI. 
  4. The professional councils, such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Veterinary Council of India (VCI), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Council of Architecture (CoA), National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) etc., will act as Professional Standard-Setting Bodies (PSSBs). 
  5. Universities to be named not on the basis of ownership but on quality of education. 
  6. The impetus to multidisciplinary education. Even IITs to move towards a more holistic curriculum with arts and humanities. 
  7. The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications, e.g., a certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, or a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme, however, shall be the preferred option. 
  8. Students pursuing 4-year degree programmes would have an option of getting a degree with Research if the research process is completed in the areas of study as specified. 
  9. National Research Foundation would be set up with a goal to enable ‘a culture of research’. NRF would be governed independently by a rotating board of governors. Primary task or NRF would be to fund competitive, peer-reviewed grant proposals of all types and across all disciplines and also act as a liaison between researchers and relevant branches of government so as to allow breakthroughs. 

These major reforms have been suggested in the higher education is to give more flexibility to the students so that they can choose any set of subjects for higher education.

The government has put up a draft of NEP on public display and all the suggestions were considered from all stakeholders. The ministry receiver 2.5 lakh suggestions and then after discussing the final policy was approved as on 29th July 2020.

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