The Union Cabinet has approved the new education policy on July 29 2020 replacing the thirty-four-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.  Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, made the announcement. The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”

Key proposals-

  • A shift from the 1986 policy, the traditional 10+2 structure of school education replaced by the new NEP pitches for a “5+3+3+4” design corresponding to the age groups 3-8 years (foundational stage), 8-11 (preparatory), 11-14 (middle), and 14-18 (secondary).

Earlier, schooling was mandatory for children aged between six and 14 years. However, now education will be compulsory for children aged between the three and 18 years

  • More flexibility will be given in making the choice of subjects to study, particularly in secondary school – including subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills.
  • Each of the four stages of school education, may consider moving towards a semester.
  • Experiential learning will include hands-on learning, arts-integrated and sports-integrated education, story-telling-based pedagogy, among others, as standard pedagogy. Classroom transactions will shift, towards competency-based learning and education
  • Every child will have to learn at least one vocation and be exposed to several more.

important vocational crafts, such as carpentry, electric work, metal work, gardening, pottery making, etc.

  • High-quality modules will be developed by NIOS to teach Indian Sign Language, and to teach other basic subjects using Indian Sign Language.
  • A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.
  • Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships.
  • A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs)
  • Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education having 4 various verticals.

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.

  • NEP 2020: Education sector to get 6% of GDP, earlier it was 1.7%
  • Bag less days will be encouraged throughout the year for various types of enrichment activities involving arts, quizzes, sports, and vocational crafts
  • Three language learned by children will be the choice of state, regions and students
  •  The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language.
  • Curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to its core essentials, and make space for critical thinking and more holistic, inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis
  • NIOS and State Open Schools will also offer A, B and C levels that are equivalent to Grades 3, 5, and 8 of the formal school system; secondary education programs that are equivalent to Grades 10 and 12; vocational education courses/programs; and adult literacy and life-enrichment programs.
  • The nutrition and health (including mental health) of children will be addressed, through healthy meals and regular health check-ups, and health cards will be issued to monitor the same.
  • In order to reduce the importance and stress of board exam, exam will be conducted in two parts: Objective and descriptive. Exam can be conducted twice a year. Board exam should promote knowledge application rather than rote learning, she added.
  • Students of class 6 and onwards will be taught coding in schools as a part of 21st century skills, school education secretary said.

References- Hindustan Times