New Education Policy 2020: As the outbreak of coronavirus has greatly affected the education sector in India, Union Minister of Human Resources and Development Ramesh Pokhriyal and his team have issued reforms and education plans for students in schools and colleges.
As many students have faced problems in shifting to online learning, the ministry has introduced schemes that will bring equality in education. Students will also have the freedom to take a break during their undergraduate program and will continue from wherever they have left. Basically, the ministry introduced a credit system similar to the United States multiple entry and exit system.
The NEP 2020 is targeting quality education to benefit more international students and provide a better option for Indian students studying abroad in national universities.
One of the major announcements of the NEP 2020 is the disintegration of the existing 10 + 2 structure and the introduction of the 5+3+3+4 structure of school education. This policy aims to transform the circular and educational structure from the current 10 years + 2 years to a more inclusive foundation for the secondary phase transition.
However, there will be no change in the actual system, while a child spends at the school level within the formal education system in the country, the new structure closes the playschools already existing within the scope of play formal education.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy i.e. NEP and renamed the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Education Ministry. Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced that there would be a single regulator for all higher education institutions and MPhil would be discontinued.
Today, a student enters formal education at the age of 3 through playschools. He then attends a ‘school’, a K12 institute – kindergarten 1 and 2 and 12 years of secondary and higher secondary education. The new structure now proposes to divide the same structure into stages of a child’s cognitive development – early childhood, school years, and secondary stages.
Here are the highlights of the New Education Policy (NEP)
Foundational Stage (5)
For ages 3 to 8, the foundational stage has been suggested. The multi-level play activity-based learning would include 3 years at Anganwadi, pre-school, or as commonly called playschools and the kindergarten classes catering to ages 3 to 6. To this, the grades 1 and 2 or classes 1 and 2 for students of ages 6 to 8 would also be added, focusing on the development of language-based skills and teaching by the play-based and activity-based curriculum.
Preparatory Stage (3)
This stage is for ages 8 to 11 or classes 3 to 5. The focus would shift to play, discovery, and activity-based and interactive classroom learning. By this stage, the focus would be on the development of language and numerical skills, according to a child’s cognitive development. The medium of instruction up to grade 5 would be home language or mother tongue or local language. All students would be taught three languages - and states would decide which ones.
Middle Stage (3)
Referring to classes 6 to 8, the new structure aims to transform pedagogy from the existing system to more experiential learning in the science, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities. The focus will be on important learning objectives and not on rote learning.
Secondary Stage (4)
This stage includes classes 9 to 12 or today’s secondary and the higher secondary. Suggested changes at this level include a multi-disciplinary study where students can choose any subject from the available structure. The focus will be on more critical thinking and flexibility, allowing the child to choose subjects according to his interest – technical and art as well.
The New Education Policy (NEP) implements an India-centric education system that directly contributes to transforming a nation into a just and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all. This is a progressive change towards a more scientific approach to education. The 5+3+3+4 structure moves with the child’s ability – stages of cognitive development as well as social and physical awareness. If it is implemented in its true terms, the new structure will bring India on par with the world’s leading countries.