Education is nothing but gaining knowledge. It is the art of learning or getting a general understanding which helps in developing an individual’s potentiality in reasoning and perception. It is the most empowering thing in the world, a key to open the door in children’s life. After a child born, he/she goes to school when they reach an age where they can read- write or talk, the child is admitted to the school. They learn new things, suchlike communicate with others, gain extra knowledge, know their talents, consequently work hard to excel for the same, they strive hard to achieve in what they are best at, giving or gaining education also increases one’s confidence. Not rightly, it is also a key to a successful future in achieving their goals as well as giving their gained knowledge or skills for the benefit of the world. The Indian system of education during ancient times was a Gurukula system of education, Guru, the teacher teaching the children. Those times nature and life linked with learning, hence, there was no need to memorize any information. The modern system of school with English as the dominant language introduced by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s taught subjects such as mathematics and science in the four walls of the classroom, not even philosophy had importance, but know modern science and thus losing connection with nature.
After independence in 1947, the Indian government took measures through organizing various programs to discuss the issues of illiteracy in both rural and urban India. Right to Education  under article 21 which is one of the fundamental rights in our Indian constitution provides free and compulsory education to all children from 6 to 14 years of age. The first education policy found in 1968 under the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, focused on providing equal educational opportunity to all and, enabling them to meet national economic and cultural integration. The policy focused on three language formulae.Which means to give instructions in English, schools in different states to offer their own regional language and Hindi as the national language of India. It’s seen as an essential need to cut the gap between the status of the cultrate and the masses. The 2nd NPE initiated by Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 where the policies emphasized on providing special and equal education opportunities to women in backward communities, providing incentives for the poor family’s children, also to bring up rural India. In 1992 our former prime minister P.V Narasimha Rao has reshaped this policy, later adopted by Manmohan Singh in 2005 who proposed the need for Common Entrance Examination in all India for a professional and technical field admission test. Now, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has released a draft on New Education Policy 2019, later acceded by the cabinet on 29TH July 2020, but not yet implemented.
Transformation to New Education Policy
The need for the new educational system in India was due to the existing system of learning. That’s a pillory, specifically centralized only on academic performance, they get so pressurized that they have no time for idleness or even any encouragements to do any Co-curriculum activities. In India many children between the ages of 10-18 commit suicides for the extreme mental pressure given to them from schools as well as parents for their studies, some even suffer from mental disorders, lack of sleep, etc. Apart from this many pauperized are also still unable to reach the education facilities. Though built for education purpose, it is business-oriented, lack of public schools because of poor infrastructure facilities. But now the government tries to change the same by implementing new policies with more benefits and exposure to children.
The NEP 2020 is the first new scheme of education system introduced in the 21st century and the one which replaces the 34 years old National Policy on Education 1986. The new learning policy was one of the promises made by the Bharata Janata Party during its elections in 2014. Efforts made since then formed a committee for drafting the new education policy under the chairmanship of Dr Kasurtirangan, former chief of ISRO who later submitted the draft of NEP to Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal in 2019 when he took charge in ministry. The major goal of the document is it aims at producing engaged, productive, and contributing citizens for building a fair, inclusive, and plural society. Different from the past, the consultation process limited to a few experts isn’t same this time. In implementing the current policy of NEP 2020 was a participatory underneath implore. Nevertheless, the genuine spirit of our democracy is that the citizens of any level could voice their opinions and take part in policy making. Wherefore, the MyGov portal has played an important role in rationalizing the process and securing translucency. As a result, the government this moment of time has planned the NEP 2020, after checking the survey results. Around 2 lakh suggestions came from rural panchayats, 573 districts, 11 states apart from this approx. of 15000 students have also given their supporting suggestions for the same.
Has technology played a critical role in the lives of human beings, because it was much simpler to know the responses from different citizens, organization’s, etc. Eventually the draft of the National Education Policy, 2019 progressed as New Education Policy 2020.
Changes under New Education Policy 2020
1. First, it renamed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Education.
2. Second, it aims at expanding learning from preschool to secondary level with a 100% Gross Enrolments Ratio by 2030 and would increase its investment in the educational sector from 1.6% to 6%.
3. Unification of system – it means one regulating body for all educational sectors excluding medical and legal institutions.
4. Approx. 3.5 it adds crores new seats in HEIs along with other states.
5. Further, made changes at the school level, higher education level, and for our teachers their qualifications, specialization, and training.
The aforesaid put on view happens if an effectual change takes place in our field of education. For good measure, the new education coverage enumerated to the place where academics, vocation, and Co-curricular things exposed, equal filling of these together with the freedom to improve the abilities inured in children.
A. Changes in School Education’s– The prevailing system of school education follow the 10+2 pattern. In this pattern, it brought children to join the school at the age of six and after 10 years of basic education at different levels of grade, they enter the senior secondary level of two years and then to qualify for their undergraduate courses. It splits the basic education from the age of six years old is split up into three levels:
1. Primary for 5 years
2. Upper primary for 3 years
3. Secondary for two years
The first two-stage are elementary level learning and compulsory level of education as per article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The secondary level comprises of 9th to 10th and senior schooling level from 11th to 12th where students select the subject stream of their choices science, humanities, commerce, or math’s and to make them qualify for the next 3 years undergraduate admission course and in case of the medical or technical field, it may take even longer depending upon the course chosen. They had to write the board exam of class 10th and 12th something that was crucial and most important in their path of life to success. This was the existing pattern.
Recent changes by introducing the new education policy have broken down the pattern of 10+2 to 5+3+3+4 structures, which represent the age groups from 3 to 6, 6 to 8, and up to the age of 18. The medium of language used for teaching or giving instructions will be students mother tongue up to class 5th, having the freedom of choice in selecting the subjects as they wish, Ex if they want chemistry and history, they can take it as they want, a multi-disciplinary approach. The 10th& 12thBoards exams kept at low stakes, it can be held twice in a year one for the main examination and the other for improvement, report cards will include self-assessing by the students itself together with the teacher’s analysis sheet. It also tries to bring out a vocational education where they learn how to learn.
B. Changes in Higher Education’s– The existing structure of University/ College the students required to complete their degree as specified with minimum attendance percentage and 50% pass mark in all semester or yearly exams. Now the recent
Change is that the undergraduate the course shall be of either 3 or 4 years of duration, with other exit options, a student can exit from his college after completing one year or two years of diploma with a certificate of the same. While studying degree course, if they drop out between the full completion of the degree or course, they can rejoin to continue the course later from where they have left and after the culmination of three- year or four- year degree course; subsequently he/she gets the bachelor’s degree certificate. An initiative to launch Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) digitally will store the academic performance of the students earned by them and other Co-curricular activities results, a new university entrance test common for all college admissions excluding the medical and legal field. To adapt to the holistic multi-faceted method to promote universities into research-intensive universities, teaching universities and for fostering such universities a national apex body system will regulate its academic standards. But this will not include the medical and legal field.
C. Benefits to Teachers– “Teaching is a noble profession’’, the burgeoning of the New Education Policy, has opened a door to refashion the teacher’s teaching profession in India vociferous and get the globe. The NEP facilitates a perfect blend of learning and practising for the teacher’s community. As the saying goes, “Practice makes a man perfect”; and NEP will allow the teachers to practise more and enhance their skill of teaching. With a perspective to comprehend and acquire the skills taught, teachers will then improvise to spiel the subject upgraded every time.A new and eclectic National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, 2021, ensued by the NCTE after symposium with NCERT. Ordinarily, by 2035, the least degree qualification for teaching would be four- year integrated B. ED degree.
We live in a secular country comprising of diverse people from various backgrounds. There is always a much longer wait needed to transmute our prevailing educational system. When the government makes any plans to change something where we find a default, then the first thing that we usually do is find fault in them and start questing and if they don’t do anything then the question arises is why aren’t they doing anything? The new education policy 2020 was one of the most wanted changes for our 21st century to meet the global standards of learning. Notwithstanding, the main aim is to come up with practical knowledge making them learn how to learn things on their own, conducting exams in a new pattern, helping them rate themselves, removing regional disparities achieving equality in the education system also contributing highly to the national growth rate of our economy. Contrived policy to become opulent its implementation needs to get settled in good order, as it is the door to the success.
(Author: Sinu Sunil Kattikaran)
(Co-author: Kavyananda. K. Nair)