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Decoding New Education Policy 2020

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Mushtaq Ahmad Butt
New Education Policy, 2020 has been formulated by an expert committee widely known as Kasturirangan Committee. It has replaced last Education Policy of 1992 which was modified by Narsimaha Rao government. The new education policy has in its ambit wide scope for student community ranging from pre-school phase to school education and crossing through college education and finally culminating at higher education level.
Each level of education has been dealt in a holistic way covering all possible domains which shall have impact on the academic life of a learner. The aim of New Education Policy is to make India superpower academically by providing high quality education which is deeply connected to its indigenous culture as well as to its cultural ethos.
Secondly, NEP-2020 also envisages making India an educational hub by intervention of technology. The foremost step taken in this aspect is that 6% of GDP shall be utilized for educational sector from budget of both states and center. This hike in expenditure shall really boost the educational system of the country especially at elementary stage as it will develop the physical infrastructure compressively. NEP 2020, has also recommended change in nomenclature of Ministry of Human Resource, by Ministry of Education. Some key features covered by NEP 2020 can be discussed in following manner.
School education
The NEP 2020 recommends for universalization of pre primary education by 2025, covering age groups from 3to 6 years. This was not covered by earlier educational policy. Here, the role of Anganvadi centers is very crucial and challenging as this stage of child is very fragile and delicate and needs holistic development both physically and mentally.
Mere gathering of children for partial nutrition will not suffice the need of a child. As this stage is indirectly preparatory phase for formal schooling of a child. There is also scope for universalization of education from preschool to secondary level with 100% gross enrollment ratio by 2030.
Besides, NEP-2020 also provides open learning for classes 3, 5 and 8, through open schools of states. The lengthy 10+2, school structure has been segregated into 5+3+3+4 structure, covering different age groups from 3-18 respectively.NEP , 2020 also has the provision of using mother tongue or regional language as the medium of instruction till grade 5, this will develop mother tongue but the learner will not be able to compete in board examinations, here bilingual system needs to be put in place by giving prominence to the English language.
More promising factor in NEP-2020 happens to be the establishing of Special Education Zones for downtrodden sections of the society, which is followed by Gender Inclusion Fund as well.
This will be a game changer for marginalized sections of the society, the drop out cases of the section has been witnessed since ages. There is also provision of regular assessment. Examinations will test conceptual things rather than factual information. In this context a new National assessment centre shall be established under the name PARAKH [performance assessment review, and analysis of knowledge for holistic development].Vocational system shall also be introduced in school education from grade 6th, however this will be unwanted burden for child giving rise to higher stress level.
Higher Education
In the arena of higher education, drastic changes have been taken like abolishing of M.Phil degree with undergraduate degree of 3 or 4 years having multiple exit options, a certificate course shall be awarded just after 1 year and advanced diploma after 2 years. However, one can acquire his Bachelors degree or complete his graduation in any stream after 3 years, while bachelor’s degree with research can be sought after 4 years of study.
For enhancement of learning by intervention of technology and planning, assessment as well as for educational administration National Educational Technology Forum, NEFT shall be established.
As per NEP-2020 which shall be an autonomous organization it will administer all except medical and legal courses. For higher education NEP-2020 also envisages to double it GER from 26.3% to 50% till 2035.
Regarding, scholarships for students pursuing higher education, National Scholarship Portal will be updated on modern lines to maintain the scholarship transparency. For, strengthening college system, college affiliation system will be phased out so that deserving colleges emerge into full fledged autonomous college.
Academic Bank Credit will be put in place to store academic credits acquired by learner from other recognized universities thus minimizing the academic loss during college or university transfer by the learner.
As per NEP-2020, a number of foreign universities shall operate in India to flourish higher education, within the set rules. By 2040, Indian higher education system aims to be become multidisciplinary, by having 3000 students on an average in each institution.
The NEP-2020 provides that a minimum degree of qualification for teaching will be BEd, this is for elementary classes only. Besides teachers shall be given online education related training through online mode. Nothing more than this has been mentioned for teaching community in NEP-2020.However, the policy speaks less on distance education as majority of students are enrolled in distance universities.
Above all, NEP-2020 is a paradigm shift in education sector of country. The policy needs strict implementation especially by states, as education is a concurrent subject. The policy will definitely develop human resource by all means and thus shall educationally empower the country.
(The author is a Post Graduate in Philosophy)


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