The Government of India, on Wednesday, has introduced sweeping changes into the age-old education system of the country by introducing a New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The policy will bring changes to the curriculum, evaluation parameters, academical schedule, learning, and teaching programs among the few named.
Some of the most significant changes in the system include the dismantling of the school structure from the existing 10 + 2 structure to a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 design. The age group of 3 to 8 will be under the bracket of ‘foundational stage,’ 8 to 11 will be considered as the ‘preparatory’ stage, 11 to 14 will be the ‘primary’ stage and the 12 to 18 is the secondary stages.
In the preparatory stage, which is class 3 to 5, classes will be conducted in regional languages or the students’ mother tongue. While vocational courses will be introduced to students from Class 6, they can also select the subjects of their choice from Class 8.
Board examinations will witness a reform in the manner of being diluted towards the evaluation of core capabilities rather than the standard rote learning. These exams will be conducted twice a year in the division of objective and descriptive examinations. Graduation degrees will be four-year programs according to the NEP, with the ability to choose between major and minor subjects. For instance, a student can pursue Chemistry as their major subject with physical education as their minor subject.
Candidates can drop-out mid-course and even choose to transfer to another course. If they want to switch courses, their credits can be transferred while on the other hand, in cases of drop-outs, NEP ensures the year will not be a loss. In completing one year, the candidates have earned a basic certification, in two years it will be a Diploma, and in four years it will be a degree. Students can also now take breaks in between the course if the need arises and return at their convenience to complete it. The Masters of Philosophy or M. Phil program will be discontinued while the other Master’s program continues to function.
The Government of India proposes to open the Indian higher education to foreign universities. These universities can set up their campuses in the country and a move to make Indian Institutes of Technology multi-disciplinary has been proposed. There will be one autonomous body undertaking the department of higher education under its wing and University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will be dismantled.
Parents can sign up new basic learning programs to teach their children up to the age of 3, while teachers will also have to go through reformed teacher training programs. NEP is a framework that aims at improving the education system of the country. This, however, sets broad directions that states can change according to their preference. The incumbent government expects the full implementation of NEP 2020 by the year 2040 since fund gathering is also a crucial step towards progressive changes.