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The launch of the National Education Policy 2020 marked remarkable progress in the area of education and learning. India has completed one year into the National Education Policy.
The pandemic has slowed the progress of NEP. The NEP is essentially about learning through observation, listening, exploring, experimenting, and asking questions. All of these are hands-on experiences and these aspects are missing in the online learning.
Ever since the announcement of the NEP, the government is focused on laying the foundation for its implementation. But, to fulfill the objectives of NEP, the government should bring in reforms at multiple levels.
About the National Education Policy
The NEP is based on the recommendations of Kasturirangan and T.S.R. Subramanian committees. NEP, 2020 lays emphasis on reforms in education at all levels from pre-primary to higher education. It aims to bring transformation to the education system of India in line with contemporary needs.
Major provisions of NEP
- Universalization of education by 2030 through 100% GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) from pre-primary to secondary.
- Open schooling system (no admission requirements like NIOS) for out-of-school children.
- 5+3+3+4 curriculum system replacing existing 10+2 system.
- Teaching in mother tongue up to class 5 with no imposition of any language.
- Broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic UG(Undergraduate) education with provisions of a flexible curriculum, integration of vocational education, multiple entries and exit points with respective degrees, and also undergraduate programs in regional languages.
- Academic bank of credits to enable transfers of credits between institutions
- HECI (Higher education commission of India) as umbrella regulator except for legal and medical education.
- Promotion of multilingualism in schools and colleges.
|Read more: National Education Policy|
Developments in one year of National Education Policy
- National boards have tried during the Covid year to bring in some changes in classroom transactions connected with well-being, inclusive education, joyful learning, etc.
- CBSE has worked to build training modules in order to steer the programs of the NEP through its active sahodaya school complexes, with a task force to oversee implementation.
- The hubs of learning have been activated. Innovation ambassador programs are being created, which will help in strengthening the mentoring capacity where teachers are being trained on design thinking, innovations, etc. This will help create robust, smart future schools.
Planned initiatives under National Education Policy
On the first anniversary of the National Education Policy (NEP), the Centre decided to officially roll out some initiatives promised in the policy. This includes,
- The much expected Academic Bank of Credit will be rolled out for students in over 290 top institutions from the current academic year 2021-22 onwards
- All institutions in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework as well as those who have achieved an A grade under the National Assessment and Accreditation Council will be allowed to participate in the credit transfer system.
- Academic Bank of Credit will keep records of the academic credits of a student. It will not accept any credit course document directly from the students for any course they might be pursuing, but only from higher education institutes, who will have to make deposits in students’ accounts.
- This will help in credit verification, credit accumulation, credit transfer and redemption of students, and promotion of the students
- Engineering in regional languages: The government will also announce the launch of engineering degrees in regional languages in about 14 smaller institutions.
- The government will also announce the establishment of the National Digital Education Architecture and National Education Technology Forum.
|Read more: PM to roll out academic credit bank|
Challenges faced by the National Education Policy
- Currently, India is grappling with huge learning gaps. This is because the needs of children are more personalized and cannot be addressed only through online mode. With the extension of school closures and fear of infections, children are losing touch with understanding, comprehension, reading, and speaking skills.
- The digital divide is also causing the education divide in India. Today, in India, over 90 percent of students do not have devices that allow them to access online learning holistically.
- When the government is calling for greater autonomy, several universities continue to function without full-time heads and vice-chancellors. For instance, 10 central universities, including Delhi University and JNU, remain without full-time heads.
- The NEP asks for the highest priority to literacy and numeracy, but the government has slashed the school education budget by almost Rs 5,000 crore; higher education has suffered a Rs 1,000 crore cut.
- The cancellation of the Class XII board examinations and subsequent challenges for institutes of higher education also needs attention.
|Read more: Walking NEP talk|
Suggestions to improve the National Education Policy
- For the NEP to move forward, India needs a robust institutional mechanism and large-scale capacity building to create enthusiasm among stakeholders. Every stakeholder at the state, district, sub-district, block-level has to have ownership and understand the concepts of NEP.
- Directorates of education have to be strengthened in order to ensure that the policy permeates to the district and zonal level educational clusters.
- To help children to realize their full potential, India requires effective strategies to physically equip teachers and students with better tools in the classroom, increase access to laptops and other gadgets, install interactive whiteboards and provide fast and reliable internet access.
- India also has to lay emphasis on vaccination of the young and old, this will facilitate the faster reopening of schools.
- The state and national boards across the nation will have to start with pilot programs. The creation of master trainers should be done, and they have to train principals and teachers in urban and rural areas.
- Providing the necessary financial resources:
- A special purpose vehicle (SPV) needs to be created to ensure NEP funds are available and that the implementation process is not delayed.
- India also needs to promote private philanthropy for funding both public and private higher education institutions.
- New and additional forms of tax incentives and other forms of incentives need to be evolved.
|Read more: The vision of the National Education Policy must be served by its implementation|
In order to implement the NEP, research, evaluation and documentation are essential along with coordination and convergence of the policy and programs connected with the NEP.
Source: The Indian Express
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