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Everything you need to know about the New Education Policy

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

This topic contains

  1. What is India’s new National Education Policy?

  2. What is the purpose of NEP?

  3. What is the need for National Education Policy?

  4. How will these reforms be followed?

  5. How will the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s program work?

  6. How will school education be revised?

  7. Do all states have to follow it?

  8. What do the impacts on mother tongue mean for English-medium schools?

  9. How is the government planning to open up higher education to foreign players?

  10. Pros of the New Education Policy

  11. Cons of the New Education Policy

No more boring and tedious study, learn how to enjoy your studies with the New Education Policy

What is India’s new National Education Policy?

New Education Policy is representing a new approach to the proposals on curriculum, courses, and medium of instruction. It involves takeaways for students, schools, and universities.

Among proposals, 10+2 school format is about to be converted to 5 + 3 + 3 + 4.

What is the purpose of NEP?

NEP is a framework that will surely guide the development of education in the country. The need for such a policy was first demanded in 1964 when Congress MP Siddheshwar Prasad criticized the government for lacking a vision and philosophy in the Indian education system. Education Commission, which is being headed by the UGC Chairperson D S Kothari, was constituted to draft a national and coordinated policy on education. The committee which drafted the policy consisted of 17 members.

Usually, A new NEP generally is launched after every few decades. India has had three reforms to date. The NEP of 1986 was revised in 1992 when P V Narasimha Rao was working as a Prime Minister. The third NEP was released on 29 July 2020 under the Prime Ministership of Mr. Narendra Modi.

What is the need for National Education Policy?

The NEP reforms include opening up of Indian higher education to foreign universities, dismantling of the UGC courses, and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It possesses an introduction for a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate program with multiple exit options, and also discontinuation of the M Phil program.

For school students, this new Education Policy is focusing more on overhauling the curriculum, “easier” Board exams, a reduction in the syllabus to retain “core essentials” and thrust on “experiential learning or critical thinking”, which is a new approach.

The new NEP has started targeting for a “5+3+3+4” design corresponding to the age groups 3–8 years (for the foundational stage), 8–11 (for preparatory), 11–14 (for middle), and 14–18 (for secondary). This brings early childhood education ( pre-school education for children aged 3-5) under the ambit of formal schooling. The mid-day meal program will get extended to pre-school children. For better results and understanding, NEP informs that students under Class 5 should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language only.

How will these reforms be followed?

The NEP is providing a broad direction for educational reforms. But, it is not mandatory to follow it. As we all know education is a concurrent subject, the reforms proposed will only be implemented collaboratively by the Centre and the states for students and cannot happen suddenly. The current government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire new policy. Sufficient funding is also required for the implementation of the complete policy. The government has now made some plans to set up subject-wise committees with members from relevant ministries for both the central and state levels to develop implementation plans for NEP. The plans will consist of actions to be taken by multiple bodies. It may include the HRD Ministry, state Education Departments, school Boards, NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education, and National Testing Agency, and among many others. Planning will get followed by a yearly joint review of progress against targets set.

How will the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s program work?

“Generally, the Four-year bachelor’s programs have only a few research works. Additionally, the student will be able to learn deeper knowledge in the subjects he or she decides to do major in. After the duration of four years, a BA student should be able to enter a research degree program directly depending on how well he or she has performed but master’s degree programs will continue to function as they do, by following which student may choose to carry on for a Ph.D. program,” said UGC chairman V S Chauhan.

How will school education be revised?

V S Chauhan said that this should not affect the higher education trajectory at all. “In all those normal educational courses, which are done after a master’s degree a student can now register for a Ph.D. program. This is the current practice all around the world. In most of the universities, including those in the UK, M Phil is a middle research degree between a master’s and a Ph.D. Those who have entered MPhil more often than not ended their studies by completing a Ph.D. degree. MPhil degrees are slowly been phased out in favor of a direct Ph.D. program.”

Do all states have to follow it? What do the impacts on mother tongue mean for English-medium schools?

Most government schools in the country are doing this already, this isn’t any new impaction. For private schools, it’s unlikely that they will be inquired to change their medium of instruction. A senior ministry official has made it clear to The Indian Express that the provision of mother tongue as a medium of instruction was not compulsory for all of the states.

How is the government planning to open up higher education to foreign players?

The document indicates that the top 100 universities of the world will be able to set up campuses in India. Even though it doesn’t elaborate the parameters to define the top 100, the incumbent government can easily use the ‘QS World University Rankings’ as it has relied on these in the past days while selecting universities for the ‘Institute of Eminence’ status. But, this cannot start unless the HRD Ministry brings in a new law detailing the functioning and operation of foreign universities that will set up in India in the future.

Participation of foreign universities in India has been kept currently limited to them entering into collaborative twinning programs, it was encouraged by sharing faculty with partnering institutions and offering distance education.

The purpose of NEP is to make students brighter in all the fields and overall growth.

Pros of the New Education Policy

  • School examinations will take place in classes 3, 5, and 8. Other classes will be assessed by the school authorities.

  • It has been announced that PARAKH will be launched as early as possible. This will be a common National Assessment Centre that will be set up by the Government under the new education policy.

  • Bal Bhavans will be constructed in every state. This will be one kind of boarding school where the students can take part in art, play, or career-related activities.

  • It has also been declared that a National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will get formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education by the year 2022. This will be possible after consulting with SCERTs, NCERT, teachers, and institutions.

  • An Academic Bank of Credit will be established where all the credits earned by the students will get stored so they can be later-on calculated upon completion of the Final Degree.

  • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs) will be launched throughout the country. These types of institutions will be developed in IITs and IIMs and will aim to showcase multidisciplinary education for Indian students.

Cons of the New Education Policy

  • Language appears to be a negative factor in the National Education Policy 2020. Indian Institutions are already facing the problem of a low teacher to student ratio. Hence introducing regional languages in academic institutions for each subject is a problem. It was already a problem to find good subject teachers of each regional language. And, now getting the perfect content ready will again be a problem.

  • The Indian Government will be following the steps of other countries like China, Germany, France, etc. where the foreign students are eager to learn the national languages of the country to know the heritage better. But, for a country like India, with 22 active languages. It is not easier to decide upon which language should be preferred for foreign nationals.

  • This Education Policy 2020 will further increase the differences between the sections of the society. As the students in the government schools will be taught in their respective regional languages, the students in private institutions will get introduced to English from the early classes.

  • This may further increase students who will not be comfortable with English as they will be introduced to the subject about seven years later than the students in private schools. Due to this, English which is an international language will be taught at a much later age.

  • With the new updated system, one needs to study for four years to complete his graduation which has been 3 or 2 in most cases in the existing courses.

  • If he/she somehow leaves the program mid-way after two years, then can he/she easily have two years of experience of work which will be valuable in the long run or it will not get counted.

The new education policy has fewer negatives in comparison to a lot of positives. However, more can be concluded only after implementing these policy rules throughout the country.

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