The Union Cabinet on July 29, 2020, officially proposed amendments in the traditional schooling National Education Policy. The policies are special since it is the first educational policy of the century in India and alters the traditional and outdated thirty- four years old national education policy since the year 1986.

Highlights of the New National Education Policy 2020:

1. Prospective Aims:

a. The new policy proposes for the globalization of education from pre-school level to secondary level along with a 100% Gross Enrolment ratio (GER) in school education till 2030 and further raise GER in higher education to up to 50 percent by 2025.

b. NCERT will cultivate a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of eight years.

c. The education policy intends to raise the Higher education gross enrolment ratio including vocational education from 26.3 % in 2018 to 50 percent by 2035 and objects to include 3.5% crore new seats to higher education institutions.

d. The central and state government mutually decided to work together to raise the public investment in the sector to reach six percent of GDP at the latest.

New education Policy 2020 on green chalk board with pen

2. Education Policies:

a. The education policy aims to establish a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by the Educational Ministry. States will prepare and implement a plan for attaining universal literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners to grade 3 by 2025.

b. The 10+2 structure of the school curriculum shall be changed into 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. It will comprise of 12 years of school education and three years of nursery and pre-schooling education.

c. A national Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.

d. All the students will take school examinations in Grade 3, 5, 8 which will be conducted under overseeing an appropriate authority. Board exams in classes 10th and 12th shall continue, but shall be redesigned with holistic development as the claim.

e. A new national assessment center to be set up namely as PAREKH i.e. Performance, Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge to ensure holistic development of the students.

f. NEP highlights on formulating a gender inclusion fund and special education zones for benefitting the disadvantaged regions and groups.

g. Public and private higher educational institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.

h. Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

i.  Stringent actions will be taken against substandard Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).

j. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.

k. Processes such as online courses and digital sources, research funding, improved student services, etc., credit-based appreciation of MOOCs shall be undertaken to ensure distance learning is in parity with the highest quality physical study programs.

l. For encouraging online education consequential due to the epidemics and pandemics, for ensuring preparation with alternate methods of quality education each time where traditional modes of education are not possible has been covered.

m. The globalization of education to be assisted with the help of both institutional collaborations and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top-ranked universities to open campuses in India.

3. Setting New Institutions:

a. Every state/district shall be supported to create a ”Bal Bhavan”  a special day-time boarding school, for the benefit of students to contribute to art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Further, SamajikChetna Kendras shall be built out of the free school infrastructure.

b. A collective professional standard to be developed for Teachers namely, National Professional Standards Teachers (NPST) to be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education till 2022, with the recommendations of NCERT, SCERTs, teachers, and experts organizations across levels and regions.

c. State/UTs will be set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). The SCERT will advance an assessment system on the school quality and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) with the recommendations of all the stakeholders.

d. For ensuring digitally strong academic credits gained from different HEIs which could be transferred and totaled towards final degree earned, an academic bank to be established.

e. Multidisciplinary Educational and Research universities shall be established (also called MERUs) having the same status as IITs, IIMs to be established as prototypes of the multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

f. The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture capacity across higher education.

g. The National Education Commission of India (HECI) shall be established as a single umbrella body overarched for entire secondary education, apart from medical and legal education.

h. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.

i. A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty who would be willing to provide short and long term mentoring /professional support to university/college teachers.

j. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to track the progress of students receiving scholarships.

k. An independent body shall be established namely, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) to provide a platform for the free exchange of opinions, for the use of technology to augmentations like knowledge, assessment, planning, and administration.

l. The NEP recommends the establishment of an institution for the preservation and translation of various cultural languages in India, namely the Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) and the National Institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, for the strengthening of languages like Sanskrit and all language departments in HEI, and making the use of mother tongue/local languages as a medium of instruction in more HEI programs.

Conclusion:

The New Education Policy 2020, is a commendable step by the government to achieve the goal of providing quality education and having a skillful, talented, and professional youth population. Learning systems like online learning and digital courses are also being encouraged. Lastly, it also lies emphasis on learning and preserving traditional languages like Sanskrit in India which are losing fast.

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