In 2020, the union cabinet came forward with a revised education policy for the country. The several changes proposed by the cabinet are expected to have effects of exponential growth on the new generation with a focus on increasing employability for the nation. The National Education Policy of India is a much-anticipated step in response to the changing socio-economic conditions of the country. The NEP revision provides the education system with flexibility and autonomy for students. This might provide a complete environment for building new and in-demand skills. The digitalization of education in India will give the youngest population of the country a chance to be at par with the advanced technological developments compared to other countries.
The state of the demographic dividend for the country is expected to reach its peak in 2036. It will provide an exciting vision of the new education policies accommodating our future workforce for better economic growth.
What is the National Education Policy (NEP)?
The NEP focuses on promoting education and developing a functional framework of providing and receiving knowledge across all Indian schools. This Policy was first introduced in India in 1968 and has undergone several amendments and revisions in 1986 and 1992. The NEP was last changed in 2020, almost 30 years from its last revision.
In 2020, the National Education Policy of India had observed the highest level of modification in terms of the medium of instruction and segregation for the various levels of schooling. Besides the schooling modifications, universities face several curriculum modifications, pedagogy, student supports, and assessment modifications. Moreover, there are chances for the country to open up to several foreign universities, faculties, and students.
Critical Changes in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020
The proposed revision is still in the form of policies. Once implemented, it will become law with the following changes:
The transition from 10+2 to 5+3+3+4 Arrangement according to the National Education Policy (NEP)
- Five years of Foundation schooling for students from 3 to 8 years of age.
- Three years of Preparatory school for students from 8 to 11 years of age.
- Three years of Middle School for students from 11 to 14 years of age.
- Four years of Secondary education for students from 14 to 18 years of age.
Additionally, students will have to learn all subjects, including their mother language and regional language, as a medium of instruction. The examination system is revised with exams to be conducted only in grades 3, 5, and 8. The board exams to be taken in grades 10 and 12.
In addition to middle schooling, institutes will provide vocational education to focus on skill development with several curriculums that integrate Indian Culture and Ethos at all levels.
Choice-based Credit System
The high school will not offer any rigid segregation of Arts, Science, and Commerce. The students can opt for any subject based on their assessments through aptitude testing using Artificial Intelligence.
Furthermore, the “Equitable Inclusive Education: Learning for All” policy aiding students with socio-economic disadvantages will facilitate a better approach to education with the following:
- All schools, public and private, are to be assessed and credited on standard criteria and benchmarks.
- Each and every school should provide its students of ages 3 to 8 with nutritious breakfast and mid-day meals.
- All students are entitled to regular health check-ups and will be issued a health-card for all medical histories and diagnoses.
- Schools will provide the best quality bilingual textbooks for science and mathematics subjects.
- Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be implemented and standardized.
- Gender Inclusion Funds will be applicable for school girls and transgender students up to class 12.
New Age – New National Education Policy (NEP) Policy
Most high-school graduates of the past decade have difficulty meeting and fulfilling all professional challenges of the era. In many cases, three to four years of college or university curriculums are followed by several months of internship and training periods before a candidate can apply for a job.
The revised NEP has given efficient significance to developing essential skills to provide the students with the strength in innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving with logical reasoning. The new curriculum provides the students with the opportunity to become more adaptable for their professional roles.
Moreover, the new policy also offers a highly skill-driven structure that will allow students to opt for various professional environments, including sports, physical education, art, aesthetics, and many more.
Furthermore, the policy will allow the students to learn from the elements of the digital era. This will enable them to understand the aspects like digital literacy, coding, and computational thought process, and problem-solving abilities. These elements of the digital age provide the students with the opportunity and edge to start building their career before 18 and prepare them to face and overcome the several challenges that the professional world throws at them.
CONS of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020
No policy is without flaws, and here are a few disadvantages of the National Education Policy of India and the digitization of education.
A static educational system cannot meet the challenges of a constantly changing world. The institutions, curriculum and teaching-learning process, needs to be dynamic to keep up with the developing world. Moreover, students require adequate knowledge to cope up with their professional careers once they graduate.
While educators distribute knowledge purely for the pleasure of learning, most students focus on education extensively only to find themselves a high-paying job. For students to find potential job opportunities smoothly, the students need to plan their exit points strategically and well in advance. It will help them focus their approach when deciding when to exit their education and move to professional careers.
In the digital era, personalization has become a new and exciting trend. While the medical sector is developing medicines based on genetic data, the NEP focuses on creating unique learning opportunities catering to specific needs. While the NEP allows a certain individualization level, there is more work to provide students with personalized curriculums. Moreover, the courses need to be adaptable for the students to learn at their own pace.