On Wednesday 29 July, The Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar (Information and Broadcasting) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (Human Resource Development) made the announcement, “Cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to New Education Policy for the 21st century. It is important, as for three decades there were no changes in the education policy.” The union cabinet renamed the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) as the Ministry of Education.
The New Education Policy target to achieve 100% literacy rate in all over India and focus on student practical and application knowledge and reducing curriculum load of students. The union cabinet announced a budget of 6% of total GDP as education budget which previously was 4.6% of total GDP. NEP 2020 draft was prepared by panel of experts led by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan former chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
New Education Policy 2020 key highlights are as follows :-
- The medium of instructions till class 5, and preferably class 8 and beyond in mother or regional language. The policy also said that no language will be imposed on any student.
- The current structure of schooling from class 1 to 10 (age 6 to 16) and then class 11 to 12 (age 16-18) has been replaced with 5+3+3+4 consisting of 5 years of foundational education (3 years of pre-school/ anganwadi and 2 years of class 1 & 2 (age 3 to 8), 3 years of preparatory education from class 3 to 5 (age 8 to 11), 3 years of middle education from class 6 to 8 (age 11 to 14) and then 4 secondary education from class 9 to 12 (age 14 to 18).
- The new policy regarding any graduation course with multiple exits options. Students leaving after 1 year will get a basic certificate, Students exiting after two years will get a diploma. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be awarded after completing three or four years of study.
- Coding to be taught from class 6 and on wards in school.
- In new education policy, National testing agency to be offer entrance exam to all colleges for admission in various courses.
- There will be no hard separation of streams for students, any student can choose subjects according to their flexibility and choice of subjects to study. For example – a student of science streams can choose geography or accounts.
- Student will get a 360 degree holistic report card in which they will not only inform about the marks obtained by them in exams but also their skills, sports and other activities will be reported.
- New Education Policy target to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education including vocational education up to 50 % by 2035 which was 26.3 % in 2018. At least 3.5 crore new seats will be added to higher education institutions after NEP 2020.
- There will be Tech-based option for adult learning from apps, online course, online books, adult education centers etc.
- Importance of board exams and stress of board exams to be reduced, exams will conduct twice in a year in two parts: objective and descriptive. The main motive of exams to be increase the application knowledge of students rather than rote memorization.
- Efforts will be made for helping the financially weak students, The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private institutions will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of scholarships to their students.