New Education Policy can revolutionise India education system: Experts
After the nod given to the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recently, several experts from the industry called it a “revolution in the Indian education system”. Top education leaders comprising Dr Pradeep K Sinha, Director and Vice-Chancellor, IIIT Naya Raipur; Dr Narendra Shyamsukha, Founder and Chairman, ICA Edu Skills; Dr P.R. Sodani, Pro-President, IIHMR University, Jaipur and Dr RL Raina, Vice-Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University have welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
NEP has changed the existing 10+2 structure, breaking it down into foundational (3-8 years), preparatory (8-11), middle (11-14) & secondary (14-18) school levels. The new structure comprises pre-school education for 3-6-year-olds with the aim to offer wide-spread access to early education via anganwadis and expansion of present schools. The mid-day meal programme will be extended to pre-school children.
According to a survey, around five crore elementary students are not proficient in reading and writing and even the basic addition and subtraction. By the year 2025, the government’s goal is to attain universal ‘foundational literacy & numeracy’ by the time a child reaches the class three-level. As per NEP, students till 5th standard will be taught in their mother tongue or regional language. The state governments are free to choose based on regional languages and students given the choice between other Indian & foreign languages starting in Class 6 or 7.
On 31 July 2020, the Union Cabinet gave a nod to India’s New Education Policy 2020 for major reforms in higher education, more focus on non-academic skills and increased inclusion via language diversity and course fluidity.
The board exams of class 11 and 12 will be made easier by testing less material to reward better core understanding of subjects despite memorisation. It will also be possible for students to give the board exams twice and the best score of the two attempts will be counted. Along with descriptive questions, the multi-choice questions will also be added.
The New Education Policy 2020 provides the flexibility for students to choose subjects across streams; arts, science, and commerce. The subjects will be offered at a standard and higher level.
In terms of higher education, an aptitude test on the lines of SAT in the USA for entrance into colleges will be conducted. The admission will not be finalised with the consideration of only board results. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct these tests as a common entrance exam across the nation with universities free to add other criteria. However, universities also have permission to conduct their own exams and not consider NTA assessments.
The undergraduate courses will be of 3-4 years, meaning that the student can leave with a certificate after one year, a two years diploma, or a bachelor’s degree with 3-4 years of completion. Students who have completed bachelor’s degree with three years course can opt for a post-graduate programme with the second year focused on research whereas those who have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree, master’s could be just one year for them. The M.Phil programme will be discontinued altogether. In order to pursue a PhD, students will require a 4-year bachelor or a master’s with a 3-year bachelor’s degree.