NEP 2020: Introduction & Overview of School Education Policies

NEP 2020 Overview

Introduction:

India is taking bigger strides in the path of progress, and is establishing its presence in every reputed field across the globe. Professionals from India have made their impressive entry into almost all Nations of the world. Aligning to the growing needs of the Digital world, and to address the common issues identified with the historical Indian professionalism, India has revised its National Education Policy in the year 2020.

The fact that India will have the highest youth population in the world over the next decade is another core factor behind the timing of its new Education Policy.

NEP 2020 is India’s first education policy of the 21st century.

Document Referred: National Education Policy 2020 (PDF format – 60 pages) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
The NEP 2020 is a vast document, with elaborate sections of “School Education”, “Higher Education”, “Other Key Areas of Focus” (like ‘Adult Education‘) and “Making it Happen” (implementation). We (Miracle Learning Solutions) attempt to briefly cover every important point of this detailed policy document, in our own words. For easy reading, we’ve divided the whole document into multiple parts. This is Part 1, addressing “School Education: Introduction & Overview”.

To read the other parts, please use the links below:

NEP 2020: Student-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Teacher-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Policies on School Infrastructure
NEP 2020: Policies on Learning Environment in Schools

 

Vision Statement:

“Build a world-class Education System that is rooted in Indian ethos, and aligned with the principles of Equity, Quality, Access, Affordability and Accountability, to transform India into a global knowledge superpower.”

Which is the most significant School Education Policy revision in NEP 2020?

mist significant
Restructuring the 10+2 academic structure, NEP 2020 constitutes the 5+3+3+4 structure. A student will now enter into formal education at the age of three (3). The corresponding age ranges will be 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years, respectively.

  1. The first 5 years (Pre-school or Foundational) comprises 3 years of pre-school education & 2 years of lower primary schooling (grades 1 & 2)
  2. The second 3 years (Medium or Preparatory School) covers grades 3, 4 & 5.
  3. The third 3 years (Middle School) covers grades 6, 7 & 8.
  4. The last 4 years (High or Secondary School) would prepare students for University education. Grades 9 & 10 will be its first phase, and 11 & 12 will be the second phase.

What are the main changes / improvements from the previous policies?

  1. Call to eliminate “rote learning” (by-heart learning); emphasize the principle “learn how to learn”.
  2. Start formal education at a very young age (three), under the program “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE).
  3. Greater focus on India and Student’s local culture, while maintaining the Global outlook.
  4. Significant promotion of multi-disciplinary learning, taking a holistic approach.
  5. Simplified curriculum & highly-engaging pedagogy.
  6. Improved flexibility for students to choose subjects of their choice.
  7. Greater emphasis to one’s mother-tongue, while promoting Multilingualism.
  8. Significance to Technology as a means and subject of education.
  9. Changes in the structure of curriculum & pedagogy, school management / administration / inspections / environment-building, student assessment and teacher management.
  10. Marked effort to minimize student drop-out cases, and to bring drop-outs back to Schools.
  11. Special focus on unprivileged / disadvantaged students and students with impaired abilities.
  12. Marked empowerment of teachers and the learning environment.
  13. Commitment to eliminate commercialization of Education.
  14. Focus on vocational training, and on development of soft skills, cognitive skills and life skills.
  15. Commitment to uphold India’s “Unity in diversity” principle.
  16. No Disparity across disciplines / roles – no hard separation.
  17. Focus to achieve Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by all Citizens.
  18. Controlled relaxation of rules to enable literacy / education to all.

What’s the timeline to implement the new School Education Policy?

  1. A common guiding set of National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) to be developed by 2022.
  2. The whole Nation to achieve “foundational literacy and numeracy” by 2025.
  3. State/UT governments to group or rationalize schools by 2025.
  4. Quality early-childhood development, care and education, ensuring that all children entering Grade 1 are school-ready, to be achieved by 2030.
  5. The professional standards for Teachers will be reviewed and revised nationally in 2030.
  6. The minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated BEd by 2030.
  7. Teacher education will gradually be moved into multidisciplinary colleges and universities by 2030.

Is there any concerns / questions / grey area with respect to NEP 2020?

Yes. There’s a couple:

  1. Whether Hindi is going to be a part of the School curriculum in non-Hindi-speaking states, is not clear. On the same line, the 3-language approach needs clarity.
  2. When will the Student start learning English? Since the medium of instruction is the mother-tongue until 6th grade, will English be a secondary language? If so, which grade will start teaching English?
  3. The State or UT’s roles are not clearly defined. While their involvement is mentioned in many cases, there are grey areas with respect to their authority/autonomy/responsibility.
  4. While addressing the student drop-out issue, “family’s poverty” has been ignored. Child labor, which is the prime reason for drop-outs or absence-from-school issue, can be traced to family’s poverty.

Let’s summarize now:

The “School Education” policy revision in India’s NEP 2020 is a bold step towards modernized Education that’s aligned to the Digital Age. It addresses every detail required to ensure Equity, Inclusion, Quality and Competence. It is built on Indian ethos while maintaining the Global outlook. There’s clear intent to move away from rote-learning to adaptive or smart learning. The future goal of “free education to all” is made visible. If NEP 2020 can be implemented in its right spirit, commitment and completeness, it will take India to the forefront rank of Super-powers in Knowledge.

 

NEP 2020: Student-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Teacher-centric Policies in School Education
NEP 2020: Policies on School Infrastructure
NEP 2020: Policies on Learning Environment in Schools

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