GD Topic: National Education Policy 2020 – Impact on Higher Education Sector
What is the most vital part of any human being’s life? Indeed, it is education. As it is rightly said “The founding stone of a nation’s economy is education. If a nation fails to provide the right education to its citizens the economy will lag behind in every way.
Considering India and its education system: The roots can be traced back to the ancient ages where the Gurukul system was followed. It was a well-structured system where the students had to leave their parents’ house and reside in his teachers’ house to gain the knowledge and skills which the teacher had to impart to the students. Subjects taught covered the Sanskrit language, mathematics, metaphysics, scriptures, etc. these teachings were passed on to the future generations. Things changed when the British came to India and the colonial era began, schools were set up that followed a curriculum confined to subjects focused on teaching science, mathematics, etc
I personally believe that the ancient education system was better, as it focused on learnings acquired via interaction with nature and the modern system was more classroom centric.
However, after ages, India has taken a step forward to change its education system. A system that focuses on developing skills and not just written papers, this education system aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower” and will transform India into a “vibrant knowledge hub”
What is this system? How will it change India in near future? Let’s surf through this article for better understanding……
Key Goals of National Higher Education Policy
- Increase investment in Education sector to 6% of GDP: The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest, says NEP.
- 100% GER in School Education by 2030: New Policy aims for universalization of education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
- 50% GER in Higher Education by 2035: 50% Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.
Some of the biggest highlights of the NEP 2020 are, 1) a single regulator for higher education institutions, 2) multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, 3) discontinuation of MPhil programmes, 4) low stakes board exams, 5) common entrance exams for universities. NEP 2020 also opens doors to Top 100 Global Universities of the World to set up campuses in India.
Let us review these highlights of NEP in three parts – School Education, High Education and Other important sectors.
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NEP( National Education Policy 2020 ) Highlights for School Education
- New 5+3+3+4 curricular structure to cover Pre-School Education: The current 10+2 system to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.
- No rigid separation between academic streams: Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools; Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships
- Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.
- Learning Outcomes: Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
NEP ( National Education Policy 2020 ) Highlights for Higher Education
- Broad based, multi-disciplinary UG Education:The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
- Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
- National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
- Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have four independent verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
- End of Affiliation of Colleges: Affiliation of Collegesis to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
NEP ( National Education Policy 2020 ) Highlights for other Sectors
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
- A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2021 will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
- It was mentioned that funding for education will be increased to 6% of GDP to implement the new National Education Policy 2020. At present, 4.6% of the GDP is allocated for education. The economy has slowed down and on top of it pandemic has impacted the economy badly. So, increasing the education’s share may not be possible in the near future.
- Mother tongue/local language as the medium of instruction was made compulsory till class 5. This is criticised by many. English connects the whole of India because there are so many languages in our country. Reducing the importance of English is being criticised. And with this move, kids of inter-state migrants will be at a disadvantage.
- This policy mentioned online education, but still many people do not have access to digital devices and internet connectivity.
- Poor infrastructure in educational institutions and shortage of teachers are not addressed.
At present, the Indian education system is criticised by many due to many reasons such as its rote learning methods, outdated curriculum etc. India is ranking 35th in global education rankings of 2020. National Education Policy 2020 can completely change our education system for good because it crafted well according to the requirements of the 21st century. By 2030, India will have the largest population of youth. NEP 2020 helps in utilising this demographic dividend. And It can also make India a knowledge hub of the world by attracting foreign students.