New Education Policy- India, 2020

The new education policy, 2020 that our government has brought in. They have addressed almost all the major points of criticism in their new policy and they have brought a revolutionary change in the Indian education system.

One of the first and major points of criticism is that our educational system tries to fit the students into three categories after class 10. Science, commerce, humanities. And this is very problematic- If you chose one stream, then you cannot study the subjects of the other streams. But more often than not, the students are interested in a variety of subjects. Now, the students have more flexibility to choose their subjects. Upon the implementation of this policy, a student can study Political science with Physics and Chemistry with History. A student can study Science, commerce as well as Arts subjects. This is an amazing initiative. Now, the students would have so much more flexibility to choose.

A second major change by the government is that they have replaced the existing 10+2 academic structure with the 5+3+3+4 system. Now, it has become more similar to the education system of the western developed countries. In the 10+2 system, education began at the age of 6.
In this new system, education would now start at the age of 3.
Preschool would be from the age of 3-6 and then class 1 and 2 for the next two years. Then would be the “preparatory stage” for the next 3 years in which focus would be upon playing, discovery, and activity-based classroom learning. Class 6 to 8 would be the middle stage in which experiential learning would be focused upon- sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities.
Next would be the second stage of class 9-12 in which multi-disciplinary studies would be focused upon.
Students would be provided with more flexibility and more choices.
The job of selling, or working in a supermarket, or driving, plumbing, carpentry, gardening all the jobs like those do not come under the proper purview of engineering, humanities, or universities. All that is viewed on the extra side, they are vocationally trained up to a large extent.
Vocational training is given a lot of importance in developed countries. The jobs like welding, electrician, carpentry, plumbing, these jobs are viewed at the same level as the rest of the skilled jobs.
The government has implemented some structural changes to change this mindset, which is praiseworthy for example, right from class 6, students would have to do internships in vocational training jobs.
Coding would be taught to children from class 6 and the importance accorded to board exams in class 10 and 12 would be reduced.
Another interesting and positive policy change is that the report cards will be handed to students at the year-end.
Now, the assessment will be done by not only the teachers, but the students will also self-evaluate themselves and say how have they performed in the entire year, according to their perspective Not only will there be self-evaluation, the rest of the students of the class with also evaluate and say how a particular student has performed according to the perspective of the rest of the classmates.

Another important change – The government has decided that at least 6% of the GDP will be spent on education. Right now, it is around 3%- which is insufficient and compared to the developed countries and the rest of the developing countries.

The exams would be designed a way that would not require much memorization or rote learning. But how exactly this will be achieved is not clearly mentioned. So, it remains to be seen.

Talking about education after class 12- there is a multiple entry and exit program. It means that- say, you started a degree- a B.Pharm degree, and one year later, you realize that you do not want to continue with it because you don’t like it.
So, you can drop midway. All the subjects that you have studied for one year, you can take their credits and get them transferred to another degree.
This option now includes another feature- say the degree is of four years.
If you drop out after one year, then you will get a certificate.
If you drop out after the second year, then you will get a diploma.
After three years, you will get a bachelor’s degree and after four years – a bachelor’s research degree. If you have already done a four-year degree in bachelor’s, MA and MSc degrees would only be of one year and two years if you have a bachelor’s degree of three years.

This is again consistent with the international standard

Top 100 foreign institutes have been given permission to set up their campuses within India.

Focussing on vocational education, the government has said that in the next ten years, it will be integrated into all the schools and higher educational institutions in a phased manner. It is being aimed that by 2025, 50% of the learners in schools and higher education institutions will have had exposure to vocational education.

A four years integrated BA degree would be the minimum qualification required to become a teacher by 2030.

Let us now talk about the controversial points which are being criticized by the people.

This new policy has been criticized the most on the point of language.
This policy reads that, “wherever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and preferably till class 8 and beyond will be the home language, local language or the regional language”. That is, the education of the child until the 5th grade should be in-home language, mother language, and regional language.
It is nowhere written that doing so is compulsory.

It is also alleged that this policy promotes centralization because this policy has a point that states that a new teachers’ training board will be set up for all kinds of teachers in the country and no state can change that. The power has been taken from the states and placed with the central government.

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