The advent of coronavirus led to the world shutdown. It has created an urge to make necessary reforms to cope up with the normal way of life in every domain possible, may it be health, education, jobs, etc. there seems a requirement to redo with the policies and practices that have been followed as a tradition. There is a huge necessity to flip the existential educational policy. With the closure of schools and universities since the last four months, the inequities in the education system have highlighted. Some students continued to learn via online tools while others were left out. There are many factors to consider as a few to go are accessibility to the internet, affordability to learn online, etc.
The new National Educational Policy (NEP), which is approved by the cabinet has a new section on digital learning and ensures ‘equitable use of technology’. This is the first new education policy in the past 34 years. This policy will introduce a four-year undergraduate degree with multiple entries and exit options. It abolished the M.Phil. degree, and established a common higher education regulator with fee fixation to both public and private institutions. The revised NEP also envisions the universalization of early childhood education from the age of 3 to 6 by 2030. A new school curriculum with coding and vocational skills from Class 6, and a child’s mother tongue to be used as a medium of instruction till class 5 will be embedded in the curriculum.
Under the new National Educational Policy (NEP), approved by the Union Cabinet, the examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 will be made easier. To test core competencies than memorized facts, students are allowed to take the exam twice. Redesigns in the future could include modular or semester-wise board exams, exams at a different level of difficulty, or separate exams for objective and descriptive modules.
Undergraduate education in the next academics is going to become more holistic and multi-disciplinary. Four-year Bachelors with Research degree is set to become the norm, although students who drop out at earlier stages will be receiving lesser qualification as well. To transfer between institutions an Academic bank of Credit will be set up to make it. Over the next 15 years, the college affiliation system is being phased out. Every college must either develop into an autonomous degree-granting institution or a constituent college of a University.
“When we introduce technology, we must ensure that no child is left behind”, said Higher Education secretary Amit Khare. Technology has gained focus in education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Educational Policy recommends the expansion of digital offerings for both schools and universities. An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to exchange ideas on the usage of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, and administration. In the ministry, a dedicated unit to create digital infrastructure, digital content, and capacity building will be set up. To improve classroom processes, technology integration will be done.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has welcomed the ‘National Educational Policy’ stating that India was in a dire need of such a futuristic plan. He also said that it is a ‘remarkable day’ in the history of the Indian education system. This reformation in educational policy is going to play an unprecedented role in building a ‘New India’. “No nation in India can excel by giving up its values and culture. The aim of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Educational Policy 2020 is to create an education system which is deeply rooted in Indian ethos and can rebuild India as a global knowledge superpower, by providing high-quality education to all”, Amit Shah tweeted.
As the language of learning shaped prominence in NEP 2020, the choice of three languages learned by the students will be on the choice of their state and religion. Also, the medium of instruction will be in the local language (home language/mother-tongue/regional language) until at least grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and maybe beyond.
By 2030, a minimum qualification degree of four-year integrated B.Ed. will be mandated to be eligible for teaching. Meritorious students who belong to SC, ST, OBC, and other socially and economically backward groups will be incentivized. Private educational institutions will be encouraged to offer scholarships to their students. Also, standalone technical universities, legal and agricultural universities will aim at becoming multi-disciplinary institutions.
These are all the major reforms made in the National Educational Policy 2020 that has gained momentum to revolutionize the educational system in India. Hope this transcends the futuristic scope of skill inclusive education and makes India a developed country which is been termed as developing nation now.