New Education Policy underway: Bold reforms proposed to modernize the education system
On Wednesday, 29th July, the Government of India unveiled the New Education Policy that will modernize the whole of India’s education system. This has been long overdue as there’s been no major change in India’s education policy in the past 34 years. This new education policy is the biggest reform in our education system since the adoption of the 10+2+3 system which is also included in the reforms.
Presenting the reforms, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and HRD, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank held a press conference. This NEP redraws the 10+2 education system to a 5+3+3+4 formula instead. Now, the first five years of schooling will include three years of pre-primary school and classes 1 and 2. There will be school examinations in classes 3, 5, and 8 and the board exams for classes 10th and 12th are going to be redesigned, from testing rote learning to knowledge application.
Students will also learn coding from early schooling, class 6th. There would be no major distinction between science, commerce, and art stream and students can take any course or subject they want.
HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said, “Since most of the learning happens in the mother tongue, we ensure that wherever possible, the medium of instruction until Class 5, but preferably till Class 8 and beyond, will be in-home language, mother tongue, the regional language. Starting from the foundational stage, children will be exposed to different languages, with a particular emphasis on the mother tongue.” This will also include Sanskrit as a language option for all classes.
This new policy envisions a single optional common entrance exam for all colleges administered by the National Testing Agency. Graduation degrees will take three to four years and a Master’s degree can be one or two years in duration. The policy also sees the discontinuation of MPhil degrees.
The policy includes major changes in higher education, to make it more holistic. The DNEP states, “The main thrust of this policy regarding higher education is the ending of the fragmentation of higher education by moving higher education into large multidisciplinary universities and colleges, each of which will aim to have upwards of 5,000 or more students.” Even IITs will include art and humanities courses.
The new academic session will begin in September-October, this delay is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The government plans to introduce this policy before the start of the new session. This NEP will bring in a new era of education, which aims at making India a global knowledge superpower.