AIR Spotlight - Discussion on New Education Policy

AIR Spotlight is an insightful programme featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, the topic of discussion is the new education policy.

Participants:

  • Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
  • Sonu Sood, AIR Correspondent.

Context:

Union Education and Skill Development Minister, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Virendra Kumar jointly launched the booklet on ‘One-year New Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 Achievements’, along with some major initiatives of the New Education Policy – 2020. The article will analyze the achievements, initiatives, and the road ahead for the New Education Policy.

New Education Policy 2020:

  • The National Education Policy 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our country. 
  • This Policy proposes the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure, including its regulation and governance, to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st-century education, while building upon India’s traditions and value systems.

Read more on the New Education Policy 2020 in the linked article.

Achievements:

  • The first change the new education policy 2020 has brought is the change in the name of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development to the Ministry of Education in the first ten days of the announcement of the policy.
  • Change in Schooling System: The second change was shifting the school education from the 10+2 system to the 5+3+3+4 system. The new 5+3+3+4 formula provides a strong underpinning with the first five years dedicated to foundational learning, followed by a regularly assessed academic growth through the preparatory, middle, and secondary stages.
  • Vidya Pravesh: This is a 3 months induction program for grade 1 students.
  • NISHTHA 2.0: NISHTHA 2.0 is an integrated program of teacher training designed by NCERT. Read more on NISHTHA.
  • Academic Bank of Credit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC). The ABC has been set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC), in which students will be given multiple entry and exit options.
  • National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR): The National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) 2021 outlines the framework to energize and catalyze the digital education ecosystem to create and deliver diverse, relevant, contextual, innovative solutions that benefit the student, parent, teacher, and educational communities.
  • Education for Divyang and Gifted Children: The New Education Policy 2020 ensures barrier-free access to education that will be enabled for all children with any kind of disabilities.

All these initiatives are being implemented at a larger scale all over the country.

 

Focus Areas:

Gross Enrolment Ratio: The focus of NEP 2020 is to achieve a 100 percent Gross Enrolment Ratio across the country. 

Reduction of dropout rate: The focus is on reducing the school dropout rate. Dropout occurs because of migration from one city to another. But, with the introduction of the Academic Bank of Credit, students will not have to start from scratch. Their certificates, degrees, results, etc. will be deposited into the ABC and they can continue their education.

Make students independent: The aim is to make each and every student of India be independent so that they can improve their standard of living. 

New Initiatives:

The new initiatives have been taken on 24th August 2021 and are as follows:

NIPUN Bharat: 

  • Union Minister for Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ virtually launched a National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat), for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
  • This Mission, which has been launched under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha, will focus on providing access and retaining children in foundational years of schooling; teacher capacity building; development of high quality and diversified Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials; and tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes.

FLN Tools:

  • The Ministry of Education has launched a new vertical for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) under the Diksha platform for school education. The government has rightfully encountered the need for development in the quality of education at the earliest stages of learning i.e., from 0 to 8 years. 
  • The FLN tools and resources have been launched by the Education Minister through the Diksha platform under NIPUN Bharat. The FLN mission aims at assisting all the union territories and states in attaining FLN goals.

Virtual School of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS): 

  • The Union Education Minister launched the ‘Virtual School’ of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
  • The virtual school aims to teach and train the students of Classes 9th to 12th through advanced digital learning platforms.
  • The virtual school initiative of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) will be providing opportunities to the differently-abled students and they will be able to participate equally. Under the virtual school, exams will also be conducted through Artificial Intelligence based remotely proctored arrangements.
  • The virtual school of NIOS will have a digital approach towards conventional learning and will teach students concepts like cyber security and such training will be held along with the regular schooling.
  • These schools will focus on labs and will train students through a practical approach.

Priya – The Accessibility Warrior:

  • The comic book named “Priya -The Accessibility Warrior” is the outcome of collaborative efforts of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India.
  • “Priya – The Accessibility Warrior” comic book brings the message of the need for accessibility and helps to guide the students on the right path and spread the ideologies of being kind, helpful, and solicitous towards everyone. 
  • The comic book is available on DIKSHA Portal, E-Pathshala, and NCERT website for everyone to access and read.

Major Challenges:

  • The first challenge is in the form of acceptability by all the universities. The policy has been introduced but it has to be implemented by the universities at the lower end so that the benefits can be availed by the students.
  • The credits earned in one institution when taken forward to another institution must be of equal standards and value. We need to have a robust mechanism for defining these credits and their standards. There should be a proper valuation system of credits and how these can be exchanged should be defined. 

Conclusion:

NEP 2020 is trying to meet the international standards of education and in some spheres, we can say that it is one step ahead. NEP 2020  is an inclusive framework focusing on the elementary level of education to the higher education level in the country. 

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Discussion on New Education Policy:- Download PDF Here

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