According to Bertrand Russell “Education has two main objects :first to impart certain skills from reading and writing upwards; and secondly to make people fit to be citizens .But this second object is conceived very differently under different kinds of governments’’. Indeed education has a close proximity with the changing dimensions of life and it is in keeping with these changing nuances that educational policies are framed by the respective policy framing authorities.
The National Educational Policy 2020 is announced and is intended to navigate the future of our country’s educational and intellectual course, in days to come. During the period of conceiving this policy ,opinions were sought from various corners and according to government sources, almost quarter of a million suggestive opinions reached. It has truly been a much awaited report.
The layout of this newly announced educational policy, appears to have certain novel features, at least on the first reading. Many changes have featured from the school level to higher education; changes which are striking .But there always remains a scope for critical examination to assess the probability of success of any newly designed framework and if this is related to the fate of a nation’s education ,then analysis becomes pertinent.
National Education Policy 2020: Key Features
School Education duration to be of fifteen years in the structure of 5+3+3+4 years of curriculum; Vocational Education to start from Class VI and with internships; up to class V , children studying in vernacular -medium schools will be taught in mother tongue or regional language ,instead of dominant language of the state; a student’s progress card will contain his or her self –evaluation ,feed-back from peers and teacher’s assessment, instead of only teacher’s assessment. There will be eight semesters from classes IX to XII. There will be multidisciplinary curriculum where classification of science, commerce and humanities wither away and students will have the opportunity to choose any subject from any stream.
In the higher education sector there are changes like the general stream undergraduate courses will be of four years with a option to exit with a certificate in the first year ;a diploma at the end of the second year ,a bachelor’s degree at the end of the third year and a bachelor’s research degree on completion of four years. There will be an Academic Bank of Credit to be set up digitally ,by virtue of which academic credits earned by students from different institutions will be stored
.Excepting medical and legal education ,there will be a single regulatory body for higher education .M.Phil course shall cease to exist and there will be a National Research Foundation to look after application for research. Last but not the least ,Ministry for Human Resources Development will be renamed as Ministry for Education. There are also many other points which are more or less intertwined with the basic features of the new educational policy.
Flexibility and Skill Development:
The immediate reaction to the go –through of the key features is that the new education policy fosters a kind of flexibility with the students perhaps being more empowered to figure their academic structure. At the same time it also envisages a kind of approach that tears apart any form of constriction related to choosing of subjects at the secondary and higher –secondary level. This approach is beneficial to the purpose of choosing career options and diverting attention to attain the desired end. Emphasis on skill enhancement is pertinently visible. It is universally acknowledged that whatever be the curriculum of studies , learning outcome should not just remain confined to knowledge based and understanding based issues ; it should rather dwell on skill and application based topics.
Education is not just rote learning but intellectual exercise of the mind which ought to have practical application in the vocational sector. The The national educational policy 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education including Vocational Education from 26.3 percent in 2018 to 50 percent by 2035 and aims to have 3.5 crore new seats to higher education institutions .
Furthermore the NEP 2020 provides students ample opportunity to hone their skills and interests since there are provisions of multiple entry and exit in higher education. The New Education Policy has also dismantled the rigid differences between curricular and co-curricular subjects in school. The The national educational policy 2020 addresses the challenges on both the demand and supply sides of vocational education. The policy also seeks to align vocational occupations with international standards as prescribed by International Labour Organisation. The policy clearly states that at least 50% of the learners going through the school and higher education system shall be exposed to vocational training and education.
The objectives that the The national educational policy 2020 consists of can rationally be achieved only by increasing the value and quality of teachers ,along with looking at e-learning as a primary mode of learning, and this in itself can be addressed by the creation of more employment opportunities. One lucrative aspect in the policy is that the student is awarded certificates for the completion of every academic year, during graduation. This new policy prioritises skill development over a ‘good report card’ and hence intends to create a more employable population. With The national educational policy 2020, the industry will witness a shift from summative assessment to regular formative assessment , which is more efficiency- based .