National Education Policy 2020 is a progressive and forward-looking policy but still needs to be scrutinized in several dimensions.Let’s learn the Ins and Outs of National Education Policy 2020.
The National Education Policy has been introduced after 34 years.It is the third education policy launched after 1968 and 1986.Prime Minister Indira Gandhi announced The National Education Policy 1968 based on the report and recommendations of Kothari Commission (1964-1966). The National Education Policy in 1968 was ‘radical restructuring‘ and brought an inclusive idea by providing equal educational opportunities to bring overall cultural and economic development across the nation.
A panel headed by former ISRO chief K. Kasturirangan submitted a draft in December 2018. This draft was made public to receive opinions and got numerous positive suggestions.
Click here to read the Draft of National Education Policy 2019.
The issue of inadequate investment was addressed following the Kothari Commission (1964-19666) recommendation and an illustrated comparison of Indian education budget with other countries was included in the draft.
- Bhutan,Zimbabwe and Sweden allocate 7.5% of GDP in Education.
- Costa Rica and Finland allocate 7% of GDP in Education.
- Kyrgyzstan,South Africa and Brazil allocate 6% of GDP in Education.
- U.K, Netherlands and Palestine 5.5% allocate of GDP in Education.
- Malaysia, Kenya, Mongolia, Korea & USA allocate 5% of GDP in Education.
Source: Data compiled from OECD & UNESCO, 2017
Here are some National Education Policy 2020 key points
- The 10+2 school structure will be scrapped and replaced by 5+3+3+4 curricular structure. The division will be following the ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively.
What is 5+3+3+4 Education System?
5+3+3+4 education system means a new structure of education that will replace the existing 10+2 structure.
- Foundation Stage (5) – Play school (3 years to 6 years) to Class 2 for multi-level playful learning
- Preparatory Stage (3) – Class 3 to Class 5 for innovative active learning
- Middle stage (3) – Class 6 to Class 8 for experimental and analytical learning
- Secondary Stage (4) – Class 9 to Class 12 for multidisciplinary learning with greater analytical thinking
- National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education will be estblished by the NCERT for children of age up to 8 years. This framework will be implemented through anganwadis and pre-schools with trained teachers and workers.
- National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be set up to achieve universal literacy and numeracy by 2025.
- Report cards will be a comprehensive report based on special skills and capabilities instead of just subjective marks.
- A National Book Promotion Policy will be established.
- School curriculum with coding and Vocational education will be included from the 6th grade onward and it will include internships.
- The National Education Policy will be focused on education in the mother tongue and regional language at least till grade 5 but preferably till grade 8 and beyond.
- A new model of National Assessment Centre, PARAKH which stands for Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development will be set up as an apex body for the assessment.
- Bal Bhavans will be set up in every states in the form of special daytime boarding school to participate in art-related, career-related and play-related activities.
- A National Professional Standards for Teachers, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) will be developed by the NCERT by 2022.
- The minimum degree qualification for teaching will be integrated B.Ed. degree of 4 years.
- An Academic Bank of Credit will be established to store academic credits earned in digital form. This credit points can be transferred and counted towards the final degree.
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities, at par with IITs, IIMs to be set up as models as best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country. Students will have the opportunity to choose from flexible subject options as there will be no visible separation between Arts,Commerce and Sciences subjects.
- National Testing agency (NTA) will serve as expert and autonomous testing organisation which conduct a common entrance exam for colleges twice a year.
- The National Research Foundation will be created to boost research capacity in higher education.
- Higher Education Commission of India will be established as a single umbrella body for higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Higher Education Commission of India will have four independent verticals
National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation,
General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting,
Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,
National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
- Open and Distance learning will be expanded.
- Special Educational Zones will be set up in aspirational districts.
- Foreign universities will be allowed to set up campuses in India to bring competitive quality in education system.
- National Educational Technology Forum will be created as an autonomous body to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology in various areas of education.
- National Education Policy 2020 will focus on Digital Education to ensure “Equitable and universal access to education”.
- NEP 2020 will form a centralized education system with its complete access by 2040.
- Gender-Inclusion Fund will be set up.
- NEP 2020 will be focused to achieve 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in school education and 50 % Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education by 2030.
- NEP will introduce four year long undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options.
- M. Phil degree will become extrinsic as students can apply for Ph.D. directly after completing their master’s degree.
The newly formed National Education Policy 2020 is an ambitious policy aiming to make India a global knowledge superpower. More precisely the policy has addressed almost all the anticipated issues in current education system. Nevertheless, the policy needs to be further discussed its implications on what the policy did not mention or partially mention.
- The policy is silent on addressing the differences in educational standards of the privileged children across the country. The policy is silent on the poor conditions of village schools. How will they be revived? The policy has not addressed SEDGs (Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups) too.
- Education is a concurrent subject. It means this comes under states as well. But no suggestions were taken from states. Rather the policy is more focused on centralization of education. UGC,AICTE,NAAC will be merged in a new body.
- We can witness a significant gulf between teachers and bureaucracy in current education system. The policy is silent on this too.
- The policy articulated the goal of 6% GDP and 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in school education.But it is silent on implementation. It is noticed that expenditure in education is declined in recent years. How will it achieve 6%?
- The language issue is raised as the policy says the students will be taught up to at least Grade 5 in mother tongue/regional language. Then what about the students who wants to study in English only? or what about the students who migrate from one state to another? Will a Tamil student be taught in Punjabi language if he/she migrates from Tamil Nadu to Punjab? However, it also mentions that no language will be imposed on students. But the question still remains the same. How will such situation be addressed?
- The policy advocates on reforms on entire education system. But India is running out of resources as the present government is eyeing in divestment policy. The unemployment issue is getting deeper and and existing employment record is getting abolished as PSUs and higher education institutions are collapsing. The new education policy gives a mild hint on increased privatization drive in the education system. There is a significant concern on how these policies will be implemented.
- The new education policy is approved by the cabinet but the parliament has been bypassed. If this policy is so sound and forward-looking then why discussions and debates have been avoided.
- The NEP 2020 has overlooked the decline in investments on higher education. India is promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat , encouraging Make in India project,but on the contrary India is slowing down investments on research and developments.
- There is a target year i.e 2040 for the implementation of the entire National Education Policy.
- National Education Policy aims to provide pre-primary education to all by 2025.
- NEP envisages at compulsory school education for all children in the age group of 3-18 years by 2030.
- The government will slowly allocate sufficient funds to different directories.
- Department wise individual committees are also proposed with the members from relevant ministries at both central and state level to discuss the implementation strategy.
There is no doubt that the National Education Policy 2020 is eyeing towards flexibility of education system,focusing on skill development which will foster a comprehensive growth that will carry on into the next generation. The National Education Policy 2020 has restructured pedagogical education while promoting support to differently-abled students, safe drinking water on the school premises, hygienic toilets with running water etc.
The Times Higher Education Ranking report titled “The Emerging Economies University Ranking 2020” was published. Only 11 Indian Universities were included in the top 100 whereas 30 Universities from China were included in the ranking. The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay) was featured as Indian institute at global level, ranked at 152nd position in QS World University ranking 2020.
The National Education Policy in India will be able to transform the entire Indian education system if implemented in a strategic and time-bound way. The policy will strengthen Indian institutes to compete at global level. However, the policy still contains some opaque and controversial points which should undergo through further reassessment and evaluation before it is implemented.
The article is written for National Education Policy upsc perspective.