National Education Policy 2020 : Transformational Reforms in School and Higher Education System

NEP 2020 : Educate, Encourage, Enlighten

नई शिक्षा नीति करे साकार, ज्ञान, योग्यता और रोजगार ।

Currently, the Union Cabinet has approved the new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 with aim to transformational changes in both school and higher education sector. This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the 34 year old National Policy on Education, 1986.

Foundational Pillars of NEP 2020 : The NEP is based on the 5-pillars -
1. Accessibility
2. Affordability
3. Equity
4. Quality
5. Accountability

Agenda :
The NEP 2020 is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.

Key Points of NEP 2020 :

✓ School Education :

Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education - from pre school to secondary level with 100% GER in school education by 2030. About 2 crore out of school children will be brought back into main stream under NEP 2020.

Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) with new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure - The current 10+2 system of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricula structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with 3  years of Anganwadi/Pre schooling.
NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8.

Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy - as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning. To setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD. States will prepare an implementation through universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025. A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.

Reforms in School Curricula and Pedagogy - To enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experimental learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
Vocational education will start in school from the 6th grade, and will include internship.

Promote Multilingualism - The policy has emphasized mother tongue/home language/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in three language formula. Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options. No language will be imposed on any student. ' The Language of India ', sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' initiative. 
Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.

Assessment Reforms - To be shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment. School examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grade 10 and 12 will be continued. A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body. It can give 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes.

Equitable and Inclusive Education - It aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or status / background. Special focus will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities. This includes settings up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
Every State/district will be encouraged to establish "Bal Bhavans" as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.

Teachers Recruitment - Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organisations from across levels and regions.

✓ Higher Education :

Increase GER to 50% by 2035 - NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.

Holistic Multidisciplinary Education - The Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combination of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 year with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example, Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor's Degree after 3 years and Bachelor's with Research after 4 years.

Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of credits and counted towards final degree earned.

Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs) - To be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

The National Research Foundation - to fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

Online Education and Digital Education - The recent crisis of epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education. 

Technology in Education - To set up an autonomous body, the National Education Technology Forum (NETF), will be provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.

Promotion of Indian Languages - To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakritik, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs, and use mother tongue/home language/local languages as a medium of instruction in more HEI programmes.

Adult Education - NEP aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.

Professional Education - All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system.

Regulation - Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions.

 Financing Education - The Centre and States will cooperation to increase public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.

 Unprecedented Consultations - The consultation involved nearly over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts. In May 2016, 'Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy' under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report. In June 2017 a 'Committee for the Draft National Education Policy' was constituted under the chairmanship of eminent scientist Padma Vibhushan, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Hon'ble Human Resource Development Minister on 31st May, 2019.

Evaluation of Education Policy : Post Independence of India -
• University Education Commission (1948-49)
• Secondary Education Commission (1952-53)
• Kothari Education Commission (1964-66)
• National Policy on Education (1968)
• 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976
• National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986
• NPE 1986 modified in 1992 (Program of Action, 1992)
• T.S.R. Subramanian Committee Report (27 May, 2016)
• Dr. K. Kasturirangan Committee Report (31 May, 2019)

Implementation :
NEP 2020 policy implementation will be led by several bodies including MHRD, CABE, Union and State Governments, education-related Ministries, State Departments of Education, Boards, NTA, the regulatory bodies of school and higher education, NCERT, SCERTs, schools, and HEIs along with timelines and a plan for review, in order to ensure that the policy is implemented in its spirit and intent, through coherence in planning and synergy across all these bodies involved in education.
The Government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy.

This NEP envisions an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower. Under this policy, our Institutions must develop among students a deep sense of respect towards the Fundamental Duties and Constitutional values, bonding with one's country, and a conscious awareness of one's roles and responsibilities in the changing world. This policy is to instill among the learners a deep rooted pride in being Indian, not only in thought, but also in spirit, intellect, and deeds, as well as to develop knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions that support responsible commitment to human rights, sustainable development and living, global well-being, thereby reflecting a truly global citizen.


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