The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new Education Policy (NEP), which has made several major changes from schooling to higher education. Also, a target has been set to increase spending in the education sector to 6 percent of GDP and to reach 50 percent of gross enrollment in higher education by the year 2035. The new policy emphasizes on early childhood care and education, replacing the 10 + 2 structure of the school curriculum with a new curriculum structure of 5 + 3 + 3 + 4, which will be 3-8, 8-11, 11 respectively. -14, and will be for children between 14-18 years of age. There is a provision to bring 3-6-year-old children under the school curriculum, which has been globally recognized as an important stage for a child’s mental development.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that the new education policy was approved in the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told that education policy had not changed for 34 years, so it is very important.
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The cabinet also approved renaming the Ministry of Human Resource Development as the Ministry of Education.
Significantly, the current education policy was formulated in 1986. The theme of the new education policy was included in the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Ministry of Education was renamed as Ministry of Human Resource Development in 1985 under the reign of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The following year the National Education Policy was implemented. After the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare and School Education and Literacy Secretary Anita Karwal gave a presentation during the press briefing which details about the new education policy.
Many major changes have been made in the new education policy, from school education to higher education. There will be a single regulator for higher education (except law and medical education). In addition, higher education aims to reach a 50 percent gross enrollment rate by 2035.
Multiple entry and exit (multi-level entry and exit) system has been implemented in the new policy.
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Terming the new education policy approved by the Union Cabinet as a long-awaited and much awaited reform in the field of education, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that it will bring changes in millions of lives in the coming times.
He said that in this age of knowledge where education, research and innovation are important, this new policy will transform India into a vibrant center of education.
The Prime Minister tweeted sequentially that the new education policy is based on “pillars of equal access, fairness, quality, inclusiveness and accountability”.
He said, “I wholeheartedly welcome the approval of the National Education Policy 2020.” It is a long-awaited and much awaited reform in the education sector which will bring changes in millions of lives in the coming times. Aspects like promoting the use of technology have been taken care of in the new education policy. He said that these are important reforms for the field of education. He said, “One India,
Khare said that in today’s system, if after four years of engineering or after 6 semesters, you cannot study further for any reason, then there is no solution, but after 1 year certificate in multiple entry and exit system, diploma after 2 years. And will get degree after 3-4 years. This is a big decision in the interest of students. At the same time, there will be a 4-year degree program for students who want to go into research, while those who want to get into a job will do a three-year degree program. The new system also provides for exemption from MA and degree programs after ffiling.
Karwal said, “The goal of the school curriculum and pedagogy will be to develop students overall by giving them the key skills or business information of the 21st century, and to increase the knowledge required and the inevitable thinking and experience-based teaching.” Curriculum should be reduced to focus more. He said that students will be given several options to choose the preferred subject. There will be no difference between arts and science, between curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and between vocational and academic subjects.
Under the new policy, vocational education will start in schools from the sixth grade itself and will include internship. The National Curriculum Framework for a New and Comprehensive Schooling will be developed by NCFSE 2020-21 NCERT. The policy lays special emphasis on keeping the mother tongue / local language / regional language as the medium of instruction, at least till grade 5 and beyond. Students will be given the opportunity to choose Sanskrit as an option at all levels of school and higher education. The tri-language formula will also include this option.
Accordingly, no language will be imposed on any student. Other traditional languages and literature of India will also be available as an option. Students will have to participate in an enjoyable project / activity on the languages of India under ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Initiative’ sometime during grades 6-8.
Karval said that Korean, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian languages will be introduced at secondary level.
He said that school infrastructure would be developed and new education centers would be set up to re-join school dropouts. About 2 crore children living away from school will be brought back into the mainstream under NEP 2020.
Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare said, “About 4.43 percent of the total GDP is being spent in education, but there is a target to increase it to 6 percent and the Center and the states will achieve this goal together.” He said that apart from Hindi and English languages, there will be e-courses in eight regional languages. Virtual lab program will be carried forward. With this, the National Education Technology Forum is being formed.
He said that National Research Foundation (NRF) will be established which will promote research and innovation. School Education Secretary Anita Karval said that it has been 15 years since the National Curriculum 2005 and now a new curriculum will come. Similarly, it has been 11 years since the curriculum of teacher education has also been improved. He said that a new policy has been taken to reduce the burden of board examination. Board exams can be divided into two parts which can be objective and subject based. He said that the medium of instruction up to class five should be in mother tongue, regional language or home language.
Karwal said that the report card based on overall assessment has been talked about while changing the form of report card of children. There will be an emphasis on testing life skills in every classroom so that when the child comes out in the 12th standard, he will have a full portfolio. Apart from this, emphasis has been laid on advancing transparent and online education. A committee headed by former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K Kasturirangan submitted a draft of the new education policy to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank last year when Nishank took charge of the ministry.