Some major back-to-back developments are taking place in various sectors of the country amid this Covid-19 pandemic. The latest addition to this is the new National Education Policy (NEP) which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The new policy aims to usher in a slew of changes, right from a reduction in school curriculum to discontinuation of MPhil course. The new NEP replaces the one prepared in 1986.
The new policy is set to create an education system that contributes directly to transforming India, providing high-quality learning to all, and thus making the country a global knowledge superpower. The new policy’s draft was formulated by a panel headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation chief Kasturirangan. In this article, we will discuss the NEP’s features and how it will benefit our students.
Here are the 5 ways the New Education Policy will help students
1. Special focus on child’s early learning
The NEP gives special emphasis on Early Child Care Education and development. It includes a play-based multi-faceted curriculum. So learning for students from a very young age is not boring anymore. The new policy has been developed in such a way that it doesn’t encourage rote learning. It will focus on the development of every child and honour their unique skill-sets at an early age. Co-curricular subjects will help students pursue their hobbies and skills. Students will get project-based and vocational learning at an early age. Learning basic life skills and technology will be a must. Besides, a new system of self, peer and teacher assessment will give parents and children a full progress report about the new skills learned during an academic year.
I wholeheartedly welcome the approval of the National Education Policy 2020! This was a long due and much awaited reform in the education sector, which will transform millions of lives in the times to come! #NewEducationPolicyhttps://t.co/N3PXpeuesG
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 29, 2020
2. Professional training underscored
Another key highlight of the NEP is professional education. Now it is considered as an integral part of higher education. The new policy suggests imparting skill-based education to increase employability among youth. As per the new rules, the school curriculum will be reduced to core concepts and there will be an integration of vocational education from Class VI. This way, students will be trained to learn useful skills that will help them get jobs. We have all seen how unemployability and uncertainty gripped India’s students and youths since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The NEP is a ray of hope in such a scenario as it aims to develop core capacities and employability skills of youngsters. The new rules also emphasize learning in the mother tongue.
Home language, mother tongue or regional language to be medium of instruction up to class 5: new National Education Policy
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 29, 2020
3. Growth for higher education
The NEP lays a huge emphasis on the growth of higher education institutions. The Centre, under the new plan, proposes to establish multi-disciplinary institutions that will offer a flexible academic curriculum. It will allow students to study inter-disciplinary subjects, giving them multiple options to enter or exit a course they want at any point in their academic journey. This is more like what they follow in the West. There is no such thing that you can’t switch to Humanities if you are unable to proceed with pure Science or vice versa. Also, a lot more independence is given to students to select their subjects in this new policy. So it more like a customized plan to boost an overall learning experience, than enhancing mere knowledge.
4. Emphasis on research and innovation
According to experts, the NEP encourages the higher education institutions of the country to take research and innovation more aggressively. The plan ensures allocating the necessary funds to colleges and universities from both the private and public sectors. Now these institutions will not only impart quality knowledge to students, rather work as independent forums that practise research and analysis in various disciplines. According to a report by Live Mint, the latest policy seeks to expand access to higher education for 50% of high school students by 2035 and achieve universal adult literacy before that date, higher education secretary Amit Khare stated.
5. Thrust on teachers’ training and growth
Another key highlight of the NEP is establishing a common guiding set of National Professional Standards for Teachers which will be developed by 2022, by the National Council for Technical Education. Now teachers and faculties will have to earn the required qualifications to be able to proceed with their professional journey.
A four-year integrated BEd degree will be considered as a minimum qualification for a teacher’s job. But all BEd programs will include training in time-tested as well as the most recent techniques in pedagogy. Aspiring teachers will have to be familiar and trained in foundational literacy and numeracy, multi-level teaching and evaluation, teaching children with disabilities, teaching children with special interests or talents and using educational technology. The plan underscores that good teachers are a must for a good education system.
Prof.Najma Akhtar,VC, @jmiu_official on #NEP2020, ”The NEP is groundbreaking! The higher education in India will now be holistic and multi – disciplinary with a shared focus on Science,Arts and Humanities”.@DrRPNishank @HRDMinistry @ugc_india @SanjayDhotreMP
— Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University) (@jmiu_official) July 29, 2020
According to experts, the inclusion of professional and choice-based disciplines in higher education will give students a new dimension to develop soft-skills. This approach will also help the nation attain the SDG4 goals by 2030.
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