The New Education Policy proposed in 2020, approved by the government will definitely be a landmark within the history of education among Asian nations. The policy is holistic, comprehensive, so hawk-eyed and can definitely play a significant role within the nation’s future growth and development. The most deserving credit for drafting the new National Education Policy must go to the TSR Subramanian Committee, established in 2016, and the K Kasturirangan Committee for having done a stellar job.
The policy places welcome stress on a holistic, learner-centered, versatile system that seeks to remodel Asian nations into a spirited information society. It amazingly balances the pride and rootedness in an Asian nation, yet as acceptance of the most effective ideas and practices within the world of learning from across the world.
Definitely, the Newly drafted National Education Policy is a revolutionary document that is expected to change the fate of the coming generation of students and ultimately our nation. Therefore it becomes important to know the advantages and disadvantages of reforms that are to be brought under the new education policy.
One of the primary and major points of criticism is that our system tries to suit the scholars into three categories after class 10 are Science, Commerce, and humanities. Students are allowed to select only one stream and if they select any stream, then they can't study the topic of the opposite streams. And this is often very problematic because many students may have an interest in more than one subject. For instance - If any student has chosen science stream but his interest also lay in economics and politics, then he was not allowed to study economics and politics. But now, the government has changed this. Now, scholars can choose subjects with their own flexibility. After the execution of this policy, a student can study history with chemistry, and physics with politics. A student can study science, commerce also as art subjects. this is often a tremendous initiative. Now the scholars would have such a lot of flexibility to settle on.
The second major change proposed in the NEP is to replace the tutorial 10+2 academic structure with the 5+3+3+4 structure. Now it's become more almost like the education system of the western developed countries. In the 10+2 education system learning began at the age of 6. But in this new education system learning will begin at the age of three. Preschool would be from the age of three to six then 1 and a couple of subsequent 2 yrs. Then would be the preparatory stage for the subsequent two years during which focus would be upon playing activities based classroom structure.
Class 6 to eight would be the center stage during which the experimental learning would be the main target science, mathematics, science art humanities. Next would be the second stage of sophistication 9 to 12 during which multidisciplinary studies would be focused. Students would be given more flexibility and more choices. Vocational education will be given tons of importance like it is given in developed countries. The roles like welding, electrician, plumber, carpentry are viewed at an equivalent level because of the test of skilled jobs. In India, these jobs are checked out with disdain, which may be a mindset that must change. The government has implemented some structural change to vary this mindset, which is praiseworthy.
This is a really critical thing without which, we will not become a developed country until and unless these changes are implemented. Fortunately, the step taken by the government is in the right direction regarding this. Coding would be taught to the youngsters from class 6 and therefore the importance accorded to the board exam in school 10 and 12 would be reduced.
Another interesting and positive feature of NEP is related to the progress report card which was being handed to students at the end of the year till now, the teacher assesses how the student has performed within the entire year, consistent with them. But after the implementation of NEP, the assessment is going to be done by not only the teachers, but the student will also self evaluate themselves and say how they performed within the entire year and comment on their consistency with their prospective.
Not only will there be self-evaluation, but the remaining other students of the category also will evaluate and say, how a specific student has performed. The final report will consist of the attitude of the remaining classmates. This is definitely a really useful step because critical thinking may be a vital aspect to measure one's efforts and to believe what one is doing is correct or not?
This is very useful as nobody will tell you about your performance in the future. So this thinking should be imparted at the first stage to the scholars to gauge oneself and to ascertain what others think of you and what your evaluation is from their perspective. It is very useful.
Another vital amendment that the committee has proposed in the existing draft of Education Policy is that it has finally set at least 6% investment of India's GDP will be spent on education. Presently it's around 4.3%, which is insufficient. And compared to other developing countries and remaining developed countries, India spends terribly less on education in the life of value. Investing 6% of GDP is a big task for India, especially considering the present economic situation. However, the impact of it can only be reviewed after the implementation of policy, for now, let's wait and watch.
Till now, there is a drag of rote learning within the Indian education system. Most of the exams are unit designed and are organized in such a method that requires mugging up of concepts in order to clear those exams. We all have been through that phase. The knowledge acquired by simply mugging up things evaporates in a few months as a result of which we fail to recall the actual concepts. Understanding the fact that merely clearing exams is not the objective of education. NEP has proposed to redesign the exam pattern in such a way through which actual and true knowledge of a student could be tested. But how exactly this will be achieved is not clearly mentioned in the NEP draft.
These are some main points of new education policy 2020.
This new education policy has been criticized a lot for the purpose of language. The proposed NEP reads that," whenever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and preferably till class 8 and beyond are going to be the house language, local language or the regional language". This means, the education of the kid until the 5th grade should be in the home language, mother language, or the regional language. It is not written anywhere that doing so is compulsory. But those that criticized this reform say that this may force the faculties to not teach in English and instead teach in regional languages which can not be beneficial for many of the people.
Suppose, you reside in Kerala and your child has studied until class 4 in Kerala, thereupon you shift to Maharashtra. How will the child cope up with the change of learning environment, because most of the faculties would teach in Marathi in Maharashtra and therefore the child wouldn't be able to adjust? This reform will restrict the movement of individuals from one state to another and this may need a detrimental effect.
It is written within the policy that no language would be forced. Although it's also said that they might attempt to make Sanskrit and other classical languages available at every level in class as an option and after class 9, the choice of foreign languages also will be available.
Several students and teacher’s bodies have criticized this policy for being anti-democratic. Some political parties have also criticized it. For example- some political parties have expressed foremost criticism. They proclaim that the states weren't consulted prior to making this policy. Since education is a concurrent subject that comes under both the Centre and also under the State authority, the states should be consulted more before introducing this policy. It has also alleged that this policy promotes centralization because this policy features a point that says that a replacement teachers training board is going to be found out for all types of teachers within the country and no state can change that. The facilities are made more centralized that the choice-making regarding education would also be done by the center itself.
Some educational experts criticized this policy as extremely theoretical. It is allegedly said by them that “The real image does change with the theoretical documents”. No doubt, implementing the new NEP practically in the real world will be a time taking and very difficult process because there are numerous government schools where children do not have an adequate number of teachers or sound infrastructure isn't available within the schools. Some even lack proper sanitation facilities.
Due to these reasons students, especially girls, choose to drop out early. There are numerous government schools with very few teachers, so how are they going to impart vocational education and provide the choice of subjects to the young students? All this seems impossible to offer, this is often another point of criticism because these changes, for now, are being brought superficially but with lack of proper knowledge and necessary resources it extremely difficult to impart them actually
It is a legit point of criticism and therefore it is yet to be seen what proportion of those policies are implemented and what changes are seen on the bottom level actually?
Also Read: New Education Policy 2020
This New National Education Policy in 2020 was most-awaited and long overdue. After the final draft of NEP was submitted to the Human Resource and Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ now the focus needs to shift to its effective and efficient implementation in reality. The Union government and State Governments have to work together in order to make the change happen in the classrooms. We are pretty much confident that if everything works as planned and the policy gets implemented well, it will open new doors of opportunity to make India a thriving knowledge hub.