NEW EDUCATION POLICY 2020
The Union Cabinet on 29th July 2020 approved a new education policy for the 21st century. The changes have been brought in the policy after 34 years. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entries and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programs, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the new National Education Policy (NEP) approved by the Union Cabinet on 29th July 2020. The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD Ministry to Education Ministry.
The implementation of previous policies on education has focused largely on issues of access and equity. The unfinished agenda of the National Policy on Education 1986, modified in 1992 (NPE 1986/92), is appropriately dealt with in this Policy. A major development since the last Policy of 1986/92 has been the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 which laid down legal underpinnings for achieving universal elementary education.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW EDUCATION POLICY:
Common norms to be in place for private and public higher education institutions.
Home language, mother tongue, or regional language to be the medium of instruction up to class 5.
Common entrance exams to be held for admission to universities and higher education institutions
All higher education institutions, except legal and medical colleges, to be governed by a single regulator.
MPhil courses to be discontinued.
Board exams to be based on knowledge application.
School curriculum to be reduced to core concepts; integration of vocational education from class 6.
SCHOOL EDUCATION STARTING AT THE AGE OF 3 YEAR
The New Education Policy changes the age group 6-14 years of schooling to 3-18 years of mandatory schooling. The NEP introduces so far uncovered three years of pre-schooling, age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi or pre-schooling. The NEP also introduces Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the 10+2 structure of the school curriculum is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to the age group of 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
MULTILINGUISM AND THE POWER OF LANGUAGE
The NEP puts focus on students’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction even as it sticks to the ‘three-language formula’ but also mandates that no language would be imposed on anyone. The NEP only recommends the mother tongue as a medium of instruction, and not make it compulsory.
The policy document states that children learn and grasp non-trivial concepts more quickly in their home language.
The new educational policy also emphasizes on a mother tongue to be a medium of instruction till grade 5 and preferably till grades 8 and beyond. Sanskrit should also be provided to the students as an optional subject at all levels of education.
REPLACEMENT OF UGC, AICTE, NCTE
Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will replace all these three education control bodies as a single controlling body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.
Govt will phase out the affiliation of colleges in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
NO SEPARATION IN SCIENCE, ARTS & COMMERCE
Under NEP 2020, there will be no separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. Students can select subjects of their choice across the streams. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade and will include internships.
CERTIFICATES FOR UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE
Under the NEP, an undergraduate degree will be of either a 3 or 4-year duration with multiple exit options within this period. The college will be mandated to give a certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year program.