The Ins and Outs of National Education Policy 2020

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 Ins and Outs of National Education Policy 2020


Do you know?
Ministry of Human Resource Development is renamed as Ministry of Education.

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.

Do you know?
Kothari commission recommended the allocation 6% of GDP in Education in the year of 1964-66.

But since 1968, India never took any steps towards this recommendation.The annual public investment in education in India over the last 5 years has been hovering around 3% of GDP.

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

Point to be noted
Underdeveloped countries like Kenya,Zimbabwe predicted and assessed the need of quality education much before than India did.
The National Education Policy 2020 Highlights

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.
What is Special Educational Zone?
It will mark the regions in aspirational districts where large number of students may face economic or caste or social difficulties. These students’ education will be treated with a special focus.
  • 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.
What is Gender-Inclusion Fund?
Gender-Inclusion fund will provide education to female and trans-gender students with equity and equality.
  • NEP 2020 will be focused to achieve 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in school education  and 50 % Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education by 2030.
What is Gross Enrolment Ratio?
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) or Gross Enrolment Index (GEI) is a statistical measure used in the education sector to determine the number of students enrolled in school at several different grade levels like elementary, middle school and high school.
  • NEP will introduce four­ year long undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options.
What is Multiple Entry and Exit options?
Multiple entry and exit options means a student can switch/exit the course if he/she does not like. The student will get certificate,diploma,degree or degree with research on basis of completion of 1st,2nd,3rd and 4th year respectively.
  • M. Phil degree will become extrinsic as students can apply for Ph.D. directly after completing their master’s degree.
Controversies in The National Education Policy 2020

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%?
Know the Facts
Currently India is using around 2.90 % of GDP in education. The current Gross Enrolment Ratio in class IX is 68% and in higher education it is 25.8%.
  • 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?
There is one more serious concern over the language.If a student is taught in mother language upto Grade 5 then the language is switched thereafter,then how will a student from the villages adopt?The deeper concern is the unavailability of skilled teacher in villages.This is the ground level reality.How will the governmnet handle the situation?If the situation is not addressed properly then it will further enlarge illiteracy ratio.Because students as well as teachers in villages will struggle,which will result in school drop and reluctance towards education.This issue can be addressed by proper infrastructure,but how?Will the existing teachers be replaced or will they be trained?The central government need to allocate the budget and inform the same for the training and upgradation of the poor infrastructure of the villages.
  • 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.
Know the Facts
India invested 0.68% of GDP in research and innovation in 2008 but now the figure is 0.60% of GDP.
When New Education Policy 2020 Will Be Implemented?
  • 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.

Download the Complete Guide of National Education Policy 2020 PDF

The article is written for National Education Policy upsc perspective.

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