NEW EDUCATION POLICY – A HOLISTIC APPROACH

NEW EDUCATION POLICY – A HOLISTIC APPROACH

Education gives us the manpower to achieve anything and everything around us. It is fundamental for achieving complete human potential and creates a tank full of opportunities for everyone. The New Education Policy will demise the structure of old learning and give rise to an innovative and comprehensive approach. It sets out a vision for 2040.

Evolution

The previous policies have focused largely on equality of education and accessibility. The first Education policy came in 1968 and the second in 1986 which was revised in 1992 and the third one is The Education Policy under the BJP Government. The cabinet approved the New Education Policy on July 29th, after a 34-year gap. The other major development since the 1986/92 policy has been the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Act 2009 which laid down legal underpinnings for achieving universal elementary education. The implementation of the policy will further depend on both State and Centre as education is a concurrent subject. The global education development agenda reflected in the Goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by India in 2015 – seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. The major aim of the education policy is to make “India global knowledge of superpower”.[i] The world is undergoing rapid changes in various technological, scientific and research advancement. The new policy extensively focuses on these major changes in the system of rote learning.

A BRIEF

The New Education Policy has been a mammoth task. Two committees undertook the policy various feedback was taken and widely consulted. The policy document was examined several times before being sent for approval. The new document is radically different from all its predecessors as it outlines a completely new framework for our education. Good education policy is where wide learning is offered with good infrastructure and appropriate resources are provided. The key points which the policy emphasis on are:

  • Recognising and fostering every individual’s capabilities and sensitizing teachers and parents as well to promote students in holistic development.
  • One of the essential fundamentals which have been left unaddressed until now is Early Childhood Care and Education. The policy says, over 85% of a child’s brain development occurs prior to the age 8. Thus, it focuses on achieving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy for all students by grade 3rd.
  • Flexibility for learners to choose their learning projectors and choose their life paths according to their talent. Furthermore, there will be no hard separation between the streams. This also promotes the dispel of various notions of society and hierarchies.
  • Multidisciplinary approach in order to promote uniformity and integrity for all knowledge. Emphasis on conceptual understanding and critical thinking.
  • The vocational programs from school education. The policy has reconceptualised practical learning and give it a heads up. Which focuses on giving students an opportunity to intern at school level and learn a programming language.

The fundamental keynotes ensure integrity, transparency and empowerment of all students. 

The Vision of the Policy

School Learning

The policy envisages that the 10+2 old schooling structure will be modified with a 5+3+3+4 which will cover the age group of 3-6 and brings early childhood education. It constitutes the foundational stage of education. The restructure has been proposed keeping in mind the holistic development of the children. As the policy focuses on ‘the overarching goal would be to ensure universal access to high-quality ECCE across the country. It facilities amalgamation project led ecosystem of education which focuses on process and not just an outcome. It shifts the focus from conventional learning practices of delivering assignments. The Boards are redesigned now students can appear for it twice one for main examination and other for improvement if they desired. NEP 2020 also proposes a shift from summative assessments to regular and formative assessments. Which will focus on analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity? The government also focuses on multilingualism and suggests that students until class 5 should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language. This received a mixed reaction some says it will promote multilingualism while others comment it as a downfall for rural-urban students who wish to learn English.

The introduction to vocational studies grades 6 onwards and creation of National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE) is an extremely important decision to remove the societal stigma attached with taking vocation as a career. Lastly one of the major problematic situations for every student has been choosing the streams, one of the critical factors of the new policy is flexibility. The dismantling of the rigid distinction of academics gives students much more flexibility and freedom to choose subjects of their interest and desires. Thus, it focuses on universalising education from early childhood.

Higher Education

According to the makers of this policy, some of the salient problems in the higher education institutions in our country is lack of research, limited teachers, less multidisciplinary courses and poor institutional governance.

Recognising the problems the policymakers came up with various new key ingredients. The decision to break the wall of streams and bring in flexibility, provisions of freedom to exit and entre courses, credit-based system and introduction to a 4-year degree with research.

The document also states universities among the world top 100 will be able to set up in India. However, this will only process ones the HRD Ministry brings a new law that includes the details of how foreign universities will operate. We can also see a partnership between government and private educational programmes which will result in the fruitful outcome and a shift into the latest technologies. Among the several new features of NEP 2020, one of the best is granting more autonomy to educational institutions which are providing quality education. The other is a single regulator for higher education. The other significant reform is the provision of multiple entries and exits points. This will help students to pursue the course of their choice at their own pace and without getting affected by the impact of their personal circumstances.

It also eliminates the MPhil programme which does not affect higher education trajectory at all. But it also emphasis equally on research and offers a 4-year undergraduate degree. As research is the foundation of knowledge creation and it plays a crucial role in the upliftment of any human. The policy envisages the creation of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Its main objective will be to provide areas of themes for research and coordination and build a platform for budding researchers which the nation strives for the next coming decade. However, the biggest challenge for the government would be to reduce the digital disparity which exists among students as well as teachers. Additionally, we also need to focus upon the skill development and training of educators and teachers who will help the nation in the rebuilding project. 

These are some of the pathbreaking provisions which NEP 2020 focuses on. It opens the door for hopes and aspirations. It is visionary and transformational however, the success lies in its implementation.

Rasleen Grover

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