On July 29, the Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Education 2020, bringing about major reforms in the education sector. RobinAgebreaks these down for you.
India’s education policy was first framed in 1968 with major reforms in 1986 and 1992. The National Policy on Education 2020 (NEP 2020) has been drafted by a panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan. It is a step towards making India a global knowledge superpower and has made sweeping changes to the curriculum structure and syllabus.
- The 10+2 school curriculum structure will be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure, consisting of three years of pre-school and 12 years of school.
- Exams will be held only for class 3, 5 and 8 along with board exams in class 10 and 12.
- Prior to the age of 5, that is before class 1, every child will move to a preparatory class or Balavatika, which has an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)-qualified teacher.
- The medium of instruction until class 5 will be the home language, mother-tongue, local language or regional language wherever possible. However, no language will be imposed and English-medium education can continue.
- The new policy has also proposed a four-year undergraduate programme with multiple entry and exit options.
- To give students flexibility, there will be no hard separation between curricular, extracurricular and co-curricular activities; between arts, humanities and sciences; and between vocational and academic streams.
- Classroom activities and content will focus on key concepts, ideas, application and problem-solving.
- The curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to its core essentials, to make space for critical thinking and more holistic, inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based and analysis-based learning.
- In order to reduce the importance and stress of board exams, the exams will be conducted in two parts—objective and descriptive. Exams will be conducted twice a year.
- Students will get 360-degree holistic report cards, which will include details on not only the marks obtained by them in subjects, but also their skills and other important points.
- Every child will need to learn at least one vocation and will be exposed to many more like carpentry, electric work, metal work, gardening and pottery. The vocational courses will be decided by the states and local communities and will be implemented for class 6 to 8 students.
- A 10-day bagless period will be included where students of class 6 to 8 will intern with local vocational experts such as artists, carpenters, gardeners and potters.
- Similar internship opportunities will be given to students throughout class 6 to 12, including holiday periods. Students will also be allowed to learn vocational subjects online.
- Students of class 6 and onwards will be taught coding as a part of 21st-century skills.
- The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) will develop high-quality modules to teach a common Indian sign language and other basic subjects using Indian sign language.
The nutrition and health (including mental health) of children will be addressed through healthy meals and regular health check-ups. Health cards will be issued to monitor the same.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialised common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts and vocational subjects, at least twice every year for university entrance exams.
Use of School Premises
Schools, school complexes and public library spaces will be used for adult education courses beyond school hours. They will also be information and communication technology (ICT)-equipped as and when possible, and used for community engagement and enrichment activities.
- Quality technology-based options for adult learning such as apps, online courses/modules, satellite-based TV channels, online books, ICT-equipped libraries and Adult Education Centres will be developed.
- E-content will be created in regional languages, apart from English and Hindi.
- E-courses will be conducted in eight major languages, not just English and Hindi.
New Set-upsThe policy proposes the setting up of an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) and lays significant emphasis on Sanskrit and other Indian languages.