The New Education Reform for India

After over three decades, the National Education policy has turned a new leaf. It is proposed to carve out the path to take India through a paradigm shift in taking the country’s education system on par with international standards. 

What is NEP 2020?

The Ministry of Education (formerly Ministry of Human Resource) has announced the NEP 2020 (New Education Policy) to be implemented in educational institutions in India. 

The Union Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, has declared the NEP 2020 bringing in major reforms in the nation’s education setup.

What are the changes? 

Both formal and non-formal modes of learning will be implemented.

The 10+2+3 system will give way to 5+3+3+4. These stages will be covered through ages three to eighteen. 

Anganwadi or pre-school of three years will precede twelve years of school.   

National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 will be developed by NCERT.

The ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs will collaborate in the planning and implementation of ECCE wherein trained teachers and Anganwadi tutors will impart the new and strengthened(modified) curriculum. 

Mathematical and basic proficiency

The need to augment basic literacy and proficiency in numbers is seen as an urgent task. NEP 2020 has advocated setting up of the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by the MHRD.

A universal foundational literacy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 will be realised by states by 2025. 

They will also frame the National Book Promotion Policy.

What reforms will come into the curricula and pedagogy?

The newly developed curriculum will allow for ease of learning by offering flexibility in the selection of subjects. Arts and science subjects can be merged as for students’ options as also allowing an intermix of curricular and extra-curricular activities while mingling of academic and vocational streams. 

Sixth graders will be given the option of vocational training with an internship. 

Language aptitude through Multilingualism

The medium of instruction up to grade five will be in the mother tongue / local language / regional language, which can last up to grade eight or beyond. Sanskrit and other classical languages of India will be available as an option as one of the languages taught in the three-language formula, as also several foreign languages. No language will be imposed on the students. 

Under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative, grades six to eight will be involved in a fun activity on the languages of India.

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country to facilitate students with hearing impairment.

Evaluation formula

Exams will be conducted for all students in grades three, five, and eight by the pertinent arbiters.  

The tenth and twelfth board exams will be revamped with a view to allow a more comprehensive build-up. 

A national evaluation centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) will be formulated as a standard-setting body for examinations. 

Fair and equitable access

The NEP 2020 underscores the need to assure entrée to education for all, at all levels.

The Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) will be framed to ensure equitable and inclusive education to students of all backgrounds, with particular aim to encompass students without prejudice to gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities including setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.

Educators with special training will aid children with disabilities to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education. 

Vigorous commissioning of educators

The NCTE in consultation with NCERT will draw up a new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021. 

The minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree to be implemented by 2030. 

Educators will be inducted healthily and openly. Performance appraisals will be fair and transparent. 

Need to propel educators

NEP believes in allowing for galvanizing and building the capacity of faculty through clearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment; offering them the freedom to design the curriculum and pedagogy; incentivising excellence; and enabling their progress to institutional leadership. 

To support teachers in universities and colleges, a National Mission for Mentoring will be formed. This will consist of a large pool of outstanding senior faculty who can teach in Indian languages, willing to provide short and long-term mentoring and professional service.

Management of schools

Schools to be organized into complexes or clusters to serve as the basic unit of governance.  The schools will ensure the availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries, and a strong professional teacher community.

“Bal Bhavans” will be set up as a special daytime boarding school. 

The school infrastructure can be used as community centres – Samajik Chetna Kendras.

High schools will be revamped to comprise well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions of top-quality teaching, research, and community engagement. 

Universities will host a rainbow of institutions that vary from research-intensive universities to teaching-intensive universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges. 

Benchmarking and Accreditation  

 States and union territories will set up the independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA).

All transparent public self-disclosed data that the SSSA decrees will be used for surveillance and accountability. 

The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) with deliberations from all concerned stakeholders.

Back to school

There is an emphasis on getting dropouts back in the school. NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.

Integrated multifaceted education

The undergraduate curriculum will incorporate flexibility with an innovative mix of subjects and a focus on making it holistic and interdisciplinary. 

Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), on a par with IITs and IIMs, will be set up on the lines of global institutes. 

The National Research Foundation, an apex body for reinforcing tenacious research across higher education will be formed. 

Affiliation of colleges will be phased out in fifteen years. Graded autonomy to colleges will happen in stages.

Every college is expected to develop into either an autonomous degree-granting college or a constituent college of a university in phases.

Regulatory body

Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will regulate the higher education system. Medical and legal education will be excluded from this. 

HECI will work with four divisions – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard-setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. 

HECI will operate through faceless intervention via technology. It will have absolute power over HEIs to penalise them for non-compliance.

Grants and support

The system will endeavor to propel all students who belong to scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), other backward communities (OBCs), and other deserving tribes in schools.

The National Scholarship Portal will open up to bolster, assist, and trail the development of receiving scholarships. Private HEIs will be galvanized to provide for more grants and scholarships to their students.

Remote schooling

Remote or distance learning will open up to bring back more dropouts. 

Online classes, financial aids for R & D, improved infrastructure, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), and more such measures will be taken up for enhanced student experience. 

The present pandemic situation has paved the way for preparing the system of remote learning. There will be a unit devoted to designing and devising quality education using the digital mode of teaching and learning, from the pre-primary level to higher education. 

Hitech in education

The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), an autonomous body will be formed to prepare the stage for interactive use of ideas on using technology to amplify learning, evaluation, assessment, planning, and administration. 

Dedicate efforts to integrate technology into all levels of education will be done to augment classroom processes, support teacher professional development, boost educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration, and management.

Language as ethos

Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) will be formed to widen the learning, use and application of Indian languages.  

National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs, and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI programmes.

Global reach

Education in India will see a global flavour. 

The entry of top international universities and institutions will be facilitated for collaboration with Indian ones.  

The cultural exchange of students and faculty will be encouraged. 

Professional Education

All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities, etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.

Adult literacy

NEP will work to accomplish 100% youth and adult literacy.

Funding Education

The Centre and the States will collaborate to raise the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.

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