The much-awaited National Education Policy 2020 has finally got the cabinet approval on 29th July 2020. This major reform in the education field has been brought after 34 years (that is after 1986 with slight revision in 1992). It is quite conspicuous that the policy has been made with futuristic, inclusive, and indigenous goals.
The National Education Policy has gifted the students of India a flexible method of learning. The previous 10+2 learning has now been replaced with 5+3+3+ 4 based learning where the first five years, from the age of 3-8 years, the focus will be on giving literacy and numeric knowledge to the students. This phase has been focused to give a playful experience of learning. Till this age, the teaching will be in the mother tongue and the local language. The next stage is of the preparatory stage, among the age group of 8 to 11 years, where formal teaching and learning will be given to the students.
The third stage is that of the middle stage which has been made keeping in mind the age group between 11 to 14 years where the critical thinking, analysis, and basics of every subject would be taught to the students. The next stage is the second stage comprising of students between the age group of 14 to 18 years and in this stage, students will be given an in-depth knowledge of the subject. The revolutionary change in this regard is that the students now will have an option to choose the course that they want to study. This is a massive move in a bid to replace old and rigid stream-based studies.
A new vision for higher education has been envisaged with large, well-resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions. The current 800 universities and 40,000 colleges will be consolidated into about 15,000 excellent institutions. This restructuring will be done systematically and thoughtfully, by consolidating and restructuring existing institutions and building new ones. Mission Nalanda and Mission Takshashila will be launched for catalyzing this new institutional architecture.
Also, the colleges now have multiple entry and exit points. A system of credit storage and credit transfer would enable the child to get a certificate after the first year. After the second year, one would be eligible for a diploma and after the 3rd and 4th year, one would get a degree and in between if for some reason one wants to drop out, their credit scores for semesters completed will be stored in the Academic Bank of Credit and those credits can be used for further education. This will help a great number of students who drops out due to some unavoidable situation.
Furthermore, education from the age of 3 to 18 years is going to get compulsory and the work for the same is in progress. With this, we can hope for an amendment in the Right to Education Act, thereby making education compulsory till the age of 18 years.
There is an aim to increase investment in education from 3% of GDP to 6%, This is a massive move and this is the need of the hour for a developing country like India. Also, high performing universities of the world would get a chance to establish their campuses in India. This policy aims to achieve 100% of youth and adult literacy by 2030. The policy will ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of students and education.
The policy also talks about the direct scholarship to an individual which was previously granted through UGC and colleges. This will certainly help in the growth of the individual. The policy has been made keeping in mind the backward section of the society as there are provisions for a scholarship for the poverty hit and tribal area’s students. Special Education Zones would be set up in those areas where proper education has still not reached. This is the first time when the policy has been made keeping in mind the transgender community. Special provisions have been made for the transgender students with special needs and urban poor, etc.
Additionally, there is a vast focus on public-private libraries, mid-day meals, transportation, and hostels etc. Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog or National Education Commission will be formed and headed by the Prime Minister – this will be the custodian of the vision of education in India.
The policy has also focused on the teachers and has several things to improve their teaching style and capabilities. The teacher-student ratio has been decided to be 1: 30. The promotion, increase in salary of the teachers are going to be based on merit and timely appraisal. The policy also talks about putting an end to the non-teaching activities that were previously assigned to the teacher’s community so that the teachers can give their best and focus on teaching and providing good quality education to the students.
At last, I would just say that this is a bold nation-centric ingenious policy which focuses towards making India a superpower and a golden bird again. This will be possible only when all the provisions of the policy gets implemented properly. After reading the whole policy, one can easily realize that the current NDA led government is focussed to develop the indigenous languages, arts, and culture. The rote method of learning has been replaced by a more practical approach based manner of learning.
Not only does the policy focus on the indigenous aspects but the futuristic thoughts of the government can be easily seen through clauses such as teaching coding from class sixth onwards which is the need of the hour as well as the need of the future. The focus on the indigenous languages is a massive step towards inculcating the feeling of pride of our mother tongue and the Indic culture and value. The National Education Policy is a great start for the clarion call of “Atmanirbhar Bharat’ given by the Prime Minister.