Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss main improvements in draft National education policy.
Conclusion. Way forward.
The draft National Education Policy provides for reforms at all levels of education from school to higher education. It seeks to increase the focus on early childhood care, reform the current exam system, strengthen teacher training, and restructure the education regulatory framework. It also seeks to set up a National Education Commission, increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of technology and increase focus on vocational and adult education, among others.
Key features of NEP- improvement over earlier education policies:
|Issues||Provisions in draft NEP|
|Currently, the RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to all children from the age of six to 14 years.||The draft Policy recommends extending the ambit of the RTE Act to include early childhood education and secondary school education. This would extend the coverage of the Act to all children between the ages of three to 18 years.|
In addition, the draft Policy recommends that the recent amendments to the RTE Act on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and the no detention policy must be reviewed. It states that there should be no detention of children till class eight. Instead, schools must ensure that children are achieving age-appropriate learning levels.
|The current education system solely focuses on rote learning of facts and procedures.||The current structure of school education must be restructured according to the draft on the basis of the development needs of students.|
It recommends that the curriculum load in each subject should be reduced to its essential core content. This would make space for holistic, discussion and analysis-based learning.
|The current board examinations:|
(i) force students to concentrate only on a few subjects,
(ii) do not test learning in a formative manner, and
(iii) cause stress among students.
|To track students’ progress throughout their school experience, the draft Policy proposes State Census Examinations in classes three, five and eight.|
Further, it recommends restructuring the board examinations to test only core concepts, skills and higher order capacities.
|The establishment of primary schools in every habitation across the country although has helped increase access to education. However, it has led to the development of very small schools (having low number of students).||The draft Policy recommends that multiple public schools should be brought together to form a school complex.|
|There has been a steep rise in teacher shortage, lack of professionally qualified teachers, and deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes.||The draft Policy recommends that teachers should be deployed with a particular school complex for at least five to seven years.|
Further, teachers will not be allowed to participate in any non-teaching activities (such as cooking mid-day meals or participating in vaccination campaigns) during school hours that could affect their teaching capacities.
For teacher training, the existing B.Ed. programme will be replaced by a four-year integrated B.Ed. programme that combines high-quality content, pedagogy, and practical training.
|The current higher education system has multiple regulators with overlapping mandates. This reduces the autonomy of higher educational institutions and creates an environment of dependency and centralised decision making.||It proposes setting up the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA). This independent authority would replace the existing individual regulators in higher education, including professional and vocational education.|
|Poor service conditions and heavy teaching loads at higher education institutions have resulted in low faculty motivation. Further, lack of autonomy and no clear career progression system are also major impediments to faculty motivation.||The draft Policy recommends development of a Continuous Professional Development programme and introduction of a permanent employment (tenure) track system for faculty in all higher education institutions by 2030.|
Further, a desirable student-teacher ratio of not more than 30:1 must be ensured.
|The curricula remain rigid, narrow, and archaic. Moreover, the faculty often lacks the autonomy to design curricula, which negatively impacts pedagogy.||It recommends that all higher education institutions must have complete autonomy on curricular, pedagogical and resource-related matters.|
|There is a need to revisit the existing system of governance in education, and bring in synergy and coordination among the different ministries, departments and agencies.||In this context, it recommends the Creation of a National Education Commission or Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, as an apex body for education, to be headed by the Prime Minister. This body will be responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis.|
Thus national education policy is vast improvement over past and solve many issues. In time of consumerism educational institutions become malls, everyone ends up a loser, most of all the student. The market has, ironically, made our native vision of education urgently relevant. Thus education policy focus on qualitative education inculcating satisfaction and mental peace in students.