AIR Spotlight - New Education Policy (NEP) - Opening New Avenues

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, 2020.

Participants:

  • Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)
  • Ashwini Srivastava, Journalist

Context: 

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the policymakers from the education and skill development sectors besides students and teachers from across the country to mark the one-year completion of the launch of the National Education Policy (NEP). He also launched initiatives related to the NEP.

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

Highlights: 

  • The Prime Minister took a review of all things that were done over the last year related to the implementation of NEP.
  • He stressed the importance of execution and said that unless the implementation is good, it does not matter how well the policy has been framed.
  • He also said that as India is celebrating 75 years of independence, the NEP is an important milestone in the development of the nation.
  • He said the current generation will benefit from NEP and will shape the future of India in the 21st century.
  • He stated that the National Education Policy 2020 was a way to fulfill the new aspirations and new hopes of our new India. It needs to be implemented effectively across the country.
  • Along with learning, he said that we also have to unlearn a lot. By 2022, every student will be evolved into the new education policy. He urged all teachers, NGOs, organizations, students, and parents to join the national mission.

Need for NEP:

  • NEP 2020 replaced the NEP of 1986. The new education policy has come after a gap of 34 years.
  • The NEP of 1986 had outlived its utility. Today in the era of digitization, there is a need for a new perspective in education.
  • Dr. Kalam used to say that our dreams should be high. Now, every individual is aiming high and NEP 1986 cannot continue for the years to come.
  • Many new things have been added to the NEP of 2020: Multidisciplinary, academic credit bank, multiple entries and exit, learning in our own mother tongue even in higher education. The traditional Indian knowledge also needs to be revived to meet current challenges.
  • There is also a need to put emphasis on skills, and that is why there is a need for a a paradigm shift in our education policy.
  • Now, this 21st-century policy will remain probably for the next 30 years and different types of structures that were necessary have been embedded into this NEP.

Different initiatives by the Government:

The government of India has taken certain initiatives under the New Education Policy 2020. Some of them are discussed below:

Multiple entries and exit points in higher education:

  • The new policy will have multiple entry and exit points. Under the four-year program, students can exit after one year with a certificate, after two years with a diploma and a Bachelor’s degree after three years, and Bachelor’s with research after 4 years. 
  • The multiple entry and exit will be done through the academic bank of credit.

Academic Bank of Credit: 

  • The academic bank of credit (ABC) proposed in NEP 2020 will offer flexibility to students and executives to promote liberal education, according to draft rules prepared by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • It will enable students to choose the best courses/combination of courses to suit their interests.
  • The academic bank of credit, which will be rolled out in a staggered manner from the 2021-22 academic year, will function much like a commercial bank. 
  • The students will be account-holders to whom the bank will provide credit accumulation, credit transfer, and credit redemption services. 
  • These credits can be deposited into the student accounts. After the accumulation of credits, a student can redeem these in order to get any academic degree.

Learning higher education in the mother tongue: 

  • It would be much easier to learn Engineering, Medicines, Arts, Commerce and Science in the mother tongue.
  • This policy talks about allowing students from very remote areas, rural areas, tribal areas, and those who do not have access to English medium schools to get higher education in their mother tongue.

Internationalization of higher education:

  • SWAYAM MOOCs platform is the World’s Largest Online Free E-Learning Platform Portal designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., Access, Equity, and Quality by covering School/Vocational, Under-Graduate, Post Graduate, Engineering and Other Professional Courses.
  • On this SWAYAM platform, there are thousands of courses and many foreign students are taking them. Nearly 100 odd countries are using our SWAYAM portal for their education.
  • So, instead of our students going abroad and spending huge amounts of money, if some of the foreign students come to our country because of our good quality of education, it will help in the internationalization of higher education.
  • Foreign educational institutions can also set up their colleges in India which will reduce the cost of education for Indian students. They only have to pay the tuition fees and not the huge amount of money on living expenses.

Vidya Pravesh:

  • The Vidya Pravesh scheme was launched for class I students. This scheme is a play preparation program for the students studying in class one. 
  • This is a program to prepare students for school through playschools. The duration of this program is 3 months. 
  • Through this scheme, all the remote students will have access to playschools. This scheme aims at spreading the concept of playschools to the remotest parts of the country. 
  • It aims at education for all in the country. It aims to ensure that no student is deprived of education.

Benefits of NEP 2020:

  • The NEP 2020 has brought changes in pedagogy, curriculum, and the whole structure of the education system in the country. 
  • The new policy is more practical in approach and is based on the ground reality of the country’s education scenario. It puts more emphasis on creativity and innovation as well as the personality development of the students rather than expecting them to score high and mug up the content without getting a basic grasp of concepts.
  • A student will not remain disinterested in studies. The Vidya Pravesh scheme will prepare the child to actively participate in schooling and education.
  • The vocational training will start from Class 6 and will give more exposure to the students from an early age. That will add to their skill sets and they will become employable right at the level of 10th or 12th standards.
  • The students can choose their respective favourite subjects from Class 8 to 12 and it will provide them with a platform to do specialization in the subjects they have chosen.
  • All universities, government, private, deemed/deemed to be, open universities and vocational training institutes will have the same grading pattern and regulations.

Examination of 10th and 12th standards:

  • One of the biggest changes is the low priority for exams in favour of a more holistic learning and assessment pattern and allowing students to appear for exams, even board exams, twice a year.
  • Exams will test competencies and not memorization skills. This is being done to test core competencies instead of memorized facts so students don’t depend on rote learning or coaching centres.
  • The purpose of bringing this change is to make examinations stress-free for students so that they can learn efficiently.

Sign language:

  • PM Modi has said that the Indian sign language has been given the status of a subject and it will be a great help to Divyangjan students.
  • The Divyangjan will be able to learn this subject that is important to them but more importantly, other students who are not Divyangjan will also be able to learn this as a subject.
  • Hence, anyone who is interested in sign languages will be in a position to take this course and can use it as credit for a particular program as an elective. This means any such child who comes across anywhere a large number of people, will be in a position to talk to him/her in his/her language.

Artificial intelligence and NEP 2020:

  • Artificial intelligence will be made available to the students in the regional languages and AI has been made part of the school education.
  • For this, there are multiple things which will take place such as training of the school teachers, preparing students for the course, etc.
  • AI and Machine Learning are new technologies and it would be beneficial for India when her young minds would excel in these applications.

Read more on artificial intelligence in the linked article.

NISHTHA 2.0:

  • NISHTHA is a capacity-building program for “Improving Quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training”. It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage.
  • The basic objective of this massive training program is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. The initiative is the first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at the national level for all States and UTs.

Conclusion:

NEP 2020 has brought many positive changes in the education system and it is expected that NEP will transform India’s education landscape and make the country a vibrant knowledge society and a global superpower.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – New Education Policy (NEP):- Download PDF Here

Related Links
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NISHTHA Scheme
Financial Inclusion Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY)

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