The Union Cabinet which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the New Education Policy on the 29th of July 2020. This policy comes to replace a 34-year old National Policy of Education and by the looks of it, it was about time the Indian education system resorted to a more flexible and creative educational policy as opposed to the rigid and redundant one.
Among some of the major changes the policy brings along, the one that stands out is that the Ministry of Human Resource and Development is now to be known as the Ministry of Education to ensure its focus and area of priority.
Key features of the NEP 2020
- Structure: the most elemental change brought about by the NEP happens to be scrapping the 10+2+3 system to 5+3+3+4. This includes Foundational Stage (includes three years of Anganwadi or pre-school which is followed by class 1-2), Preparatory stage (classes 3-5), Middle stage (class 6-8), and secondary (classes 9-12).
- Scrapping off rigidity across streams: earlier, students who opted for Sciences in Junior college would not be able to attempt a subject from any other stream. However, the NEP 2020 takes that rigidity away and now allows students to choose from subjects across streams and they also get to choose from two levels of proficiency.
- Board exams: the intensity of board exams will now lessen as students will be allowed to take board exams on up to two occasions during any school year, one main examination and one for improvement, if they desire it.
- Discontinuation of MPhil: MPhil courses will now be discontinued and all courses at the UG, PG and Ph.D. level will now be interdisciplinary.
- Regional language: According to the new policy, teaching up to grade 5 will be allowed in the Mother tongue of the student or the preferred regional language. No specific language will be imposed upon the child.
- Assessments: Assessments will now be a whole different ball-game as there will now be a Holistic Progress Card (360 degrees), which will track the progress of the student across various parameters of growth – including academics and extra-curricular.
- Transfer of Credits: If the student wishes to change streams, she/he will not have to start all over again anymore. The student will have an option to transfer credits through the Academic Bank of Credits, which will be established by the Ministry of Education.
- Research: to encourage the zest to research, and build it up as a culture, a National Research Foundation will be created to overlook research across the nation.
- Coding: Coding as a subject will be introduced from Grade 6 onwards to ensure better digital literacy among students. This feature aligns itself to the vision and mission of the Digital India programme.
The National Education Policy is a revolutionary step in the direction of progress. The outcome of this move will do a world of good to the educational structure in India. This seems to be a system that aids the requirements of the modern world and equips students to face modern day problems with modern day skills.