What is NEP?
The Union Cabinet passed an ambitious National Education Policy (NEP) in the year 2020 that proposes sweeping changes to the Indian education system. The policy was designed to create a progressive pathway for students and institutions of learning and to transform India into a vibrant knowledge hub. It was built on the pillars of “Accessibility, Equity, Quality, Affordability, Accountability.”
This is the first education policy of the 21st century, replacing the NEP of 1986. After 34 years, the NEP was revised to reflect the changing needs of Indian students and to meet international educational standards.
NEP 2020 is a vast policy with many features and action points. Below are some of the key features of this extensive policy –
- According to NEP 2020, the existing 10+2 structure in school education will be replaced by the system 5+3+3+4, covering ages 3-18 years. This means that the initial five years of school, including three years of pre-primary school as well as classes 1 and 2 will be the foundation stage. The next three years – classes 3 to 5 will be the preparatory stage, from classes 6 to 8 are the middle stage, and classes 9 to 12 are the secondary stage.
- The program of basic learning will be made available to parents of young children up to age three at home, and preschool programs will be offered for children aged three to six.
- Starting in Class 6, students will be exposed to vocational training at a young age.
- Each student will have the opportunity to choose their favorite subjects from Class 8 through Class 12 and this will allow them to specialize in the subjects they have chosen.
- All graduation courses would be four years long, which will allow students ample time to master their respective subjects.
- There will be one major course for all graduate courses that will be their core subject and one minor course that will be added to increase students’ interest in the subjects. Students whose major is math can take music as a minor, for example.
- Academic Credit Banks (ABCs) shall be established that would digitally store the student academic credits earned from recognized Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
- As of 2040, all higher education institutions will be multidisciplinary institutions, with a student body of 3,000 or more.
- The same grading patterns and regulations are to be applied to all universities, whether they are public, private, deemed/deemed to be, or open universities.
- Higher education institutions should also shift away from high-stakes tests towards continuous and comprehensive evaluations through the year.
- Multiple entries and exits from the chosen course are possible for the students.
- After completing one year of a graduation course, a student will receive the basic education certificate or diploma certificate upon completion of the second year and a degree upon completion of the entire course. The student will not lose any time if he drops out in between.
- The campus to offer students a wide range of athletic, cultural, arts, environmental, and community service clubs.
- Stress and emotional adjustment counselling will be made be available in every educational institution.
- Several initiatives are being devised to ensure the survival, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages. In higher education, there will be more programs using the mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction.
- HEIs are to become multidisciplinary institutions by 2040, with each aiming to have 3,000 students or more.
- Indian universities with high academic performance will be encouraged to set up campuses abroad.
- Universities from among the top 100 universities in the world will also be permitted to operate in India.
- There should be access to the latest educational technology in every classroom to improve learning.
- The policy aims to achieve 100% literacy among youth and adults.
Advantages of NEP 2020
- The new 5+3+3+4 structure has a strong emphasis on early childhood education since early childhood care and education from age 3 is also included in the policy.
- The policy is focused on promoting practical and application-based knowledge for learners.
- The policy aims to bring approximately two crore school students back to educational institutes through this new approach.
- The NEP 2020 will establish multidisciplinary educational and research universities at par with IITs and IIMs in India. These universities will introduce multidisciplinary academic programs.
Disadvantages of NEP 202
- Some experts believe that in most countries, the ideal age to start school in most countries is anywhere between 4 to 6 years of age and starting school at 3 years can be challenging for kids.
- Due to the lack of teachers, introducing mother languages for each subject in academic institutes can be a problem.
- Exams for grades 3,5 and 8 can be a cause of stress for the students
- Increasing the graduation, age may cause students to lose motivation and quit the course.
Implementation Of NEP 2020
NEP 2020 is an ambitious reform plan that will take time to realize. However, according to the Indian government, NEP 2020 should be operational by 2040. To reach the target year, the major points of the initiative must be applied one by one. Further, the proposed reforms would be implemented through a partnership between the federal and state governments and to ensure that the federal and state governments would form subject-specific committees to examine the implementation plans.
NEP 2020 aims to transform the country’s current learning infrastructure and raise it to international academic standards, making India a vibrant knowledge hub. The policy not only aims to recognize, identify, and foster the unique capabilities of each student but also aims to provide high-quality education to every child and adult, thereby making India a global knowledge superpower.
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