National Education Policy 2020 envisions an education system which aims at providing high-quality education to all, innovation entrepreneurships and research component thereby making India a global knowledge superpower by providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge. The policy envisages that the curriculum and pedagogy of our institutions must inculcate among the students a deep sense of respect towards the Fundamental duties and Constitutional values. This will develop a conscious awareness of one’s roles and responsibilities in a changing world at a young age. The dimensions of shell based education along with culture of innovations will surely lead to sustainable development and honorable living.
It is paving way for many new initiatives in education including for holistic and multidisciplinary education and will overhaul education landscape of the country. It is not merely a policy but a vision document for our future which aims to establish a student-centric education system by empowering the students with flexibility and resilience. It is expected to revolutionize the educational sector and lay the path for the next 25 years. It deals with many aspects of school education which include the need to move away from rote learning, flexibility in examinations, discouraging an overdependence on textbooks, new recruitment for teaching and providing overall development of children. The policy is based on the foundation of affordability, equity and quality.
The objectives that are new in NEP 2020 include universal access to education and retention of all children in school until the secondary level, incorporation of pre-primary schools within the formal ambit of ‘school education’, a multi-lingual approach to teaching and the removal of rigid demarcation between subjects and streams. From the perspective of a teacher, there are some aspects that are of particular interest and have been mentioned in steps.
Integrated concept of 5+3+3+4 Education
Systematic Steps for Implementation of NEP 2020
Step 1:- Formation of School Complexes/Clusters and mentorship of Primary Schools in its periphery through complexes
Step 2:- Establishment of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and its units within one campus for better coordination
Step 3:- National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE- Taking into account frontline curriculum
Step 4:- National Curriculum framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE)- Preparing professionals and humane teachers
Step 5:- Focus on curriculum to core concepts- Emphasis on conceptual understanding- Goodbye to rote learning & development of scientific temper, communication, ethical reasoning, knowledge of critical issues and digital literacy
Step 5:- Digital education and technology in education- extensive use of technology in learning and teaching for both modes
Step 6: Assessment Reforms and Board Examinations- Report cards will include self-assessment by students in addition to existing teachers’ evaluation sheet. The culture of assessment shall shift from rote memorization to that promotes learning and tests higher order skills.
Step 7:- National Assesment Center for Performance, Review and analysis of Knowledge for Holistic development- PARAKH- a new National Assessment Centre will be set up as a standard-setting body.
Step 8:- Internships and Vocational Education from class 6- Have to be integrated
Step 9:- Freedom of choice is another ingredient in the policy and multilingualism and power of language has cognitive benefits
Step 10:- There are “BAG-LESS DAYS”. The New Education Policy proposes for 10 days to be bag-less days in a year during which students are exposed to vocational studies, i.e., informal internship.
Step 11:- Following four parameters need to be critically assessed on priority- Core essentials, Critical Thinking, Interactive Classes and experiential learning
To avoid confusion in New Admissions:
From Play School to Class 2, for ages 3 to 8 years, the multi-level play activity-based learning would include 3 years at Anganwadi’s, pre-school, or as commonly called playschools and the kindergarten classes. From Class 3 to 5, this is for ages 8 to 11 years. In the Preparatory Stage, the focus would be on discovery, activity-based, and interactive classroom learning focusing mainly on the development of language and numeracy skills, in accordance with the cognitive development of a child. The medium of instruction till Grade 5 would be home language or mother tongue or local language.
From Class 6 to 8 for ages 11 to 14 years, the Middle Stage aims at transforming the pedagogy from the existing system to a more experiential learning in the various subjects, such as sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences and humanities. Focus would be on critical learning objectives and not on rote learning. From Class 9 to 12 or the secondary and the higher secondary as we know them today for the ages 14 to 18 years, the changes suggested at the Secondary stage include a multidisciplinary study where students would be able to pick and choose any set of subjects from the available structure. The focus would be on greater critical thinking and flexibility, allowing the child to pick subjects as per their interests – even technical and arts. All subjects to be offered at two levels of proficiency.
The author is teaching Nanotechnology at NIT Srinagar and is holding Chair, Department of Physics, NIT Srinagar.