National Education Policy 2020

Panel headed by former ISRO chief K. Kasturirangan submitted a draft of National Education Policy which forms the basis of National Education Policy 2020. This policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The policy is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.

 

 

Major Highlights

  • Public spending on education by states, Centre to be raised to 6% of the GDP.
  • Ministry of Human Resource Development to be renamed Ministry of Education.
  • Related to Digital Education
    • An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum, will be created for the exchange of ideas on use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning and administration.
    • Separate Technology Unitto develop digital education resources. The new unit will coordinate digital infrastructure, content and capacity building.
  • Related to Teacher Education
    • By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a four year integrated B.Ed.
    • Teachers will also be given training in online educational methodsrelevant to the Indian situation in order to help bridge the digital divide.
  • Related to School Education
    • Universalise the pre-primary education(age range of 3-6 years) by 2025.
    • Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary levelwith 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
    • A new school curriculum with coding and vocational studies from class 6will be introduced.
    • A mother tongue of the children will be used as the medium of instruction till class 5.
    • A new curricular framework is to be introduced, including the preschool and Anganwadi years.
    • A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracywill ensure basic skills at the class 3 level by 2025.
    • Board exams to be easier, redesigned. Exams will test core competenciesrather than memorising facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
    • School governance is set to change, with a new accreditation frameworkand an independent authority to regulate both public and private schools.
  • Related to Higher Education
    • Four year undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options will be introduced.
    • The Phil degree will be abolished.
    • New umbrella regulator for all higher education except medical, legal courses.
    • An Academic Bank of Creditwill be set up to make it easier to transfer between institutions.
    • College affiliation system to be phased out in 15 years, so that every college develops into either an autonomous degree-granting institution, or a constituent college of a university.
    • It also aims to double the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education, including vocational education, from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035, with an additional 3.5 crore new seats.
  • Traditional Knowledge: Indian knowledge systems, including tribal and indigenous knowledge, will be incorporated into the curriculum in an accurate and scientific manner.
  • Regions such as aspirational districts, which have large number of students facing economic, social or caste barriers will be designated as Special Educational Zones.
  • Centre will also set up a Gender Inclusion Fundto build the country's capacity to provide equitable quality education to all girls and transgender students.
  • Meritorious students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and other socially and economically disadvantaged groupswill be given financial incentives.
  • National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit , Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.
  • PARAKH : A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body
  • Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities.
  • States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA)
    • SQAAF : The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.
    • Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability.
  • NEP proposes changing the existing 10+2 Curricular and Pedagogical Structure with 5+3+3+4 design covering the children in the age group 3-18 years.
    • Five years of the Foundational Stage: 3 years of pre-primary school and Grades 1, 2;
    • Three years of the Preparatory (or Latter Primary) Stage: Grades 3, 4, 5;
    • Three years of the Middle (or Upper Primary) Stage: Grades 6, 7, 8;
    • Four years of the High (or Secondary) Stage: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12.

Challenges

  • As education is a concurrent subject most states have their own school boards. Therefore, state governments would have to be brought on board for actual implementation of this decision.
  • Some of the proposals require legal changes.
  • The proposal for a Board of Governors for universities may require amendments of the
  • Central and State Universities Acts.
  • A Cabinet note has already been moved to set up the National Research Foundation as a trust under the government, but in order to make it a fully autonomous body, an Act may be required.
  • Funding is also a big challenge. Free breakfasts can only be considered in the next
  • academic year if a budget allocation is made to cover it.
  • The process of converting affiliated colleges into degree granting autonomous institutions and then further into fully fledged universities is estimated to take at least 15 years, as the Centre will have to provide financial assistance for this purpose.
  • Funding of 6% of GDP has been proposed, but not achieved for the last half-century.
  • The proposal to make the mother tongue the medium of instruction till Class 5, which has stirred up the fiercest debates, is dependent on State governments.

 

The global education development agenda reflected in the Goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by India in 2015 - seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.

The aim of the National Education Policy 2020 is to create an education system which is deeply rooted in Indian ethos and can rebuild India as a global knowledge superpower, by providing high-quality education to all and to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society.