New Education Policy

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National Education Policy, 2020

National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP) envisions a massive transformation in education through– “an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, that is Bharat, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all, thereby making India a global knowledge superpower.” The NEP 2020 is founded on the five guiding pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. It will prepare our youth to meet the diverse national and global challenges of the present and the future.

In school education, the National Education Policy 2020 stresses on the core values and principle that education must develop not only the cognitive skills, that is, – both ‘foundational skills’ of literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ skills such as critical thinking and problem solving – but also, social and emotional skills - also referred to as ‘soft skills’ -including cultural awareness and empathy, perseverance and grit, teamwork, leadership, communication, among others. The Policy aims and aspires to universalize the pre-primary education and provides special emphasis on the attainment of foundational literacy/numeracy in primary school and beyond for all by 2025. It recommends plethora of reforms at all levels of school education which seek to ensure quality of schools, transformation of the curriculum including pedagogy with 5+3+3+4 design covering children in the age group 3-18 years, reform in the current exams and assessment system, strengthening of teacher training, and restructuring the education regulatory framework. It seeks to increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of technology and increase focus on vocational and adult education, among others. It recommends that the curriculum load in each subject should be reduced to its ‘core essential’ content by making space for holistic, discussion and analysis-based learning.

It also proposes the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure, including the school regulation and governance, to create a new system which is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st century education along with India’s tradition, culture and value system. Technology will be integrated with education through several existing as well as proposed initiatives, including energized text books, high quality e-content for capacity building of teachers and learners, question banks based on learning outcomes, etc. The policy also notes that establishing primary schools in every habitation across the country has helped in increasing access to education. However, it has led to the development of very small schools (having low number of students) which makes it operationally complex to deploy teachers and critical physical resources. Therefore, the Policy recommends that multiple public schools can be brought together to form a school complex or any innovative grouping mechanism for efficient governance. The policy has emphasized upon Quality Education across all stages of School Education. Quality education is not only a life-changing, but also a mind-crafting and character-building experience, that positively impacts on citizenship. Empowered learners not only contribute to many growing developmental imperatives of the country but also participate in creating a just and equitable society.

In Higher Education, NEP, 2020 provides valuable insights and recommendations on various aspects of education that include moving towards multidisciplinary and holistic education, institutional autonomy, promotion of quality research through establishment of National Research Foundation, continuous professional development of teachers, integration of technology, internationalization of higher education, restructuring of governance and regulatory architecture, multidisciplinary curricula, engaging blended, pedagogy, valid reliable and blended assessment and availability of content in Indian languages. The policy is expected to bring long-lasting positive impact on the education system and making India a global hub of skilled manpower during the ‘Amrit Kaal’, the next 25 years leading up to Developed India in 2047. Its implementation needs collective efforts of Centre, States, UTs, HEIs, Regulating Agencies / Regulatory Bodies and all other relevant stakeholders.