National Education Policy: Boon or Bane

National Education Policy 2020 was recently approved by the Union Cabinet on 29 July 2020.[1] Date of approval of National Education Policy, 2020 by Union cabinet. The new education policy replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986. National Education Policy is a boon as it is a changing face of an education system positively. New Policy on education states that “education is a key to success and this success can be achieved by the proper implementation of the policy”. 

NEP has announced to provide easy and quick access to all the students and especially for differently-abled students. In NEP 2020 there is a provision to provide devices and technological tools and affordable and freely accessible books to the students living in deprived areas from rural to remote areas. The offering of various teaching-learning materials for differently-abled students. It is also helpful to empower teachers and help them to find effective jobs and to do their work. It is also for the shaping of society and effective for all human beings in one way to another.

On the other hand, NEP 2020 is a bane as laws and policies related to the condition of those schools and colleges which are by certain bodies and organisations throughout the country are silent as it is. As the current education system has No Detention Policy (NDP) [2]till Class 8th and the dropout percentage is going to increase due to conduction of exams by singular body or authority. If the single body or authority is deciding the whole nation’s syllabus then they will easily re-write or change history and advertise their agendas and pollute the young minds of the generation which will be the future of any nation.

As knowing National Education Policy 2020 we came to know that it has both faces of blessing and bane.

Introduction

As we know, education is a thing that can make people attain the highest peak in their career. Education is a basic fundamental for achieving success and all human potential, the formation of a just society, and maximising national development. Quality education is a key to make a mark of the nation at the global stage. After Independence government made many changes in the education system and for these many policies were made and from this one is National Education Policy, 2020 which is made in the 21st century. 

Quality innovation, education and research in every field will be the poles or bases on which India will become a ‘Global Knowledge Super Power’. So, for this achievement, a new policy on education is needed. After the 34 years, on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, Union Cabinet has approved National Education Policy. The NEP 2020 was announced by the Ministry of Education for the purpose that it will provide quality education to our nation. Previous National Policy on Education, 1986 was replaced by this new one. The main motives and aim of this policy are to provide quality education and maximum development of learners. All the major critical points have been addressed in this Policy which is called as New National Education Policy, 2020.

There are various things that this policy achieves and that is promised to the nation including providing of digital and technological education tools for differently-abled students, equitable and inclusive education online and digital education: ensuring equitable use of technology, re-imagining vocational education, renovation of course structure, etc. the focus of this policy is on education so it will bring long-overdue positive changes in society. As this policy was approved, every institution will adopt all the provisions and new policies which were provided by the central government for the welfare of the student. Under this policy, students will decide and choose their subject and course themselves. It provides freedom for students that they deserve.  

History

At the time of Mrs Indira Gandhi’s government to improve quality education phrasing of various principles for the boosting of educational development in our nation, the first National Policy on Education was made in 1968. Later, during the Rajiv Gandhi’s government with the aim and motive to provide education to all sections of society, especially for backward classes as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and for women, the second policy on education was introduced and which was in 1986.

Later, this policy was modified in the working period of P.V. Narasimha Rao Government in 1992 with the framework to guide the development of the education sector in our nation. Now after 34 years, many changes have been taken in the new National Education Policy, 2020.

A committee was formed under the chairmanship of Mr TSR Subramanian when Smriti Irani was HRD Minister in 2015. On 7th May 2016, this committee with the following objectives submitted its report:

  1. The education credibility
  2. Improvement of quality of education.
  3. To address the gaps in implementation.

A committee was formed under the chairmanship of Former Dr K. Kasturirangan and 9 members committee was formed. They drafted national education policy in 2019 and this was finally approved in 2020 by the union cabinet.

Important changes made in the new National Education Policy 2020 are:

  1. M. Phil [4]would be discontinued.
  2. Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) is now renamed as Ministry of Education (MoE).
  3. Focus on the gross enrolment ratio that will be increased to 50% by 2035.
  4. The government recommended increasing the GDP investment in education from 1.6% to 6%.

National Education Policy: As a Boon 

Education is the most important thing in human life. We all are focusing on the policies and rules related to education. So, every education policy was made to make a positive change in society by education and make a country superpower in education. So, after 34 years this new education policy is coming as a blessing for our country. this policy changes the education pattern with a new pedagogical and curricular restructuring of 5+3+3+4 covering ages 3-18 and earlier educational structure is in the form of 10+2. Before this policy class 1 begins from age 6 and students with age 1-5 does not cover in 10+2 structure. Now new policy provides the education from class 3rd under Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in the new structure of 5+3+3+4. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is aimed at early and quick development of child’s brain and promoting better overall learning because over 85% development of a child’s cumulative brain occurs before age of 6.

ECCE includes play-based study, use of alphabets, contains alphabets, numbers, languages, colour, shapes, simple drawings and paintings, very easy to medium puzzles and quizzes, based on problem-solving, music, teamwork, cooperation and other interesting things for children. A National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) will be developed by NCERT for children up to the age of 8 in two parts named as a sub-framework for 0-3-year-old, and a sub-framework for 3-8-year-olds. or universal approach to ECCE, Anganwadi Centres [5]for a small child will be build up with the high-quality and strong infrastructure, play equipment and with the appointment of well-educated and trained Anganwadi workers/teachers.

As we know that, earlier system of education has three streams named as Commerce, Science, and Arts and students have to study only one out of three. They can’t study all three streams but new policy provides that now students can study Physics- Chemistry with Political Science along with History. The new policy provides a multidisciplinary approach for students.

The Mother tongue [6]is now compulsory until 5th grade as a medium of instruction. It is a good decision that no one is left without knowing the mother tongue. The new policy provides that students have to do an internship right from class 6th in vocational training jobs. This policy emphasises on vocational education. It is for the betterment of those students those who want to run a business or wants a vocational job. 

Now we are giving more importance to 10th and 12th board class but importance of these board class would be reduced due to new policy and now all classes are important and coding would be taught to all students from class 6th. Another interesting thing is that students will also self-evaluate themselves and the assessment and evaluation of students is not only done by teachers but also done by students along with teachers. Not only self-evaluation will be done but rest of the class students will also evaluate and compare the entire report and tell that how the student had performed so, basically it is valuable for students as well as for teachers.

In the earlier, government spend less on education and spend less for the welfare of students but new policy provides that there will be 60% of GDP would be used in education.

With the new policy M. Phil courses to be abandoned and these courses to be proclaimed as nullified. NEP 2020 focused on the promotion of Multidisciplinary Education and there is an establishment of Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs). NEP 2020 made Higher education commission of India as a single body for entire higher education and there will be equity in public and private higher education standards. Legal and Medical education will not come under the ambit of HECI. 

If in the mid of any undergraduate or postgraduate programs anyone feels that he or she wants to discontinue this course then he will happily drop that program in midway and those subjects he or she studied they will get the benefit of those subjects. It can provide interesting programs for students.

By 2030 a 4-year integrated BA degree would be the minimum qualification to become a teacher and by 2022 a Common National Professional Standard will be made for all teachers.

India can set up its institution outside India and top most 100 colleges have been permitted to set up their institutions legally in India. So, by this, we can learn from foreigners and we will also be taught foreigners. It will make a strong bond between India and other nations.

National Education Policy: As a Bane

The government made policies for the benefit of a country with positive things and do all efforts that this policy is with only advantaged not with any disadvantage but every policy has disadvantages along with advantages. But, it is right that there are more advantages and fewer disadvantages. As in the new National Education Policy of 2020, there are some disadvantages but these are less than advantages. 

The first disadvantage is that this policy focused on vocational[7] and polytechnic education for the school students and made compulsory that students have to do internships right from class 6th in vocational training jobs and vocational subjects will be introduced as early as 6th grade. This ignores the value and importance of mainstream education to all students until at least class 10th. Those students who belong to an economically backward region and are of lower castes who struggle in coding, in English, etc. would end up choosing these streams. These internship and vocational subjects will give a load to students and this process is so early. The priority of any student is to gain basic knowledge and then get an education step by step from easy to a high level. 

Multiple entries and exit options lead to an increase in dropout rates in universities. If a student decided to drop out in midway of a course then it will create problems for students and teachers. No one can pre-plan their future and will not be able to decide that what he or she has to do in future. 

The one main reason behind the criticising of this policy is by the people on the point of language. This policy states that “till grade 5th and preferably till grade 8th and if needed beyond it will be in the home language, regional language or in the mother tongue.” But it is criticized because if a student in that age in which over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development took place at an early age. If he or she learns the local or regional language at an early age then how he or she will learn English or third language so perfectly as the local or regional language learned by them. Nowhere to study regional or local language is compulsory, but those who criticize it says that this point of language under this policy will force schools to not to study or teach English or third language, and this is not beneficial for the students and also for the nation.

Some political parties and peoples criticized this policy that this policy is Anti-democratic. Since education is a matter of centre and state both, but being so this is alleged that states were not consulted before making and implementation of this policy. So, states should have been informed or consulted before making this policy. 

Our current education system has No Detention Policy (NDP) till Class 8 and the dropout percentage is going to increase due to conduction of exams by singular body or authority. 

It is inappropriate that a single body conduct the exams of a whole country because it will make the exam the same for the whole country but the study is different in a different state. If exams will be conducted by the state then it is better for students. If a single body or authority is deciding the whole nation’s syllabus then they will easily re-write or change history and advertise their agendas and pollute the young minds of the generation which will be the future of any nation.

In the case of Mohini Jain v. Karnataka [i]notification issued by the Karnataka government is challenged by a resident of Uttar Pradesh state. This notification permitted the private medical colleges to collect higher fees from those students who were not awarded ‘government seats.’ In this case Supreme Court of India if a private college charges “capitation fee” then it violates the right to education. 

So, policies are helpful in these situations where educational rights are violated.

Conclusion:

NEP 2020 is a new education policy and it is made after 34 years of old policy on education so, the government wants and tries that it will bring positive change in society through education. All the students of our country should be educated and this policy is made to provide easy and valuable education to students. The NEP is a path or way to make reforms and transformation in every schools and colleges sector in our nation. 

It provides us with many choices and visions but for the fulfilment of these, we need sincere students, teachers, champions and implementers. It provides the establishment of foreign institutions in our country and our country can establish an institution out India and this is a way to achieve Internationalisation. [8]

The NEP 2020 is an adequate policy as it aims at making the Indian education system more comprehensive, workable and multidisciplinary. It is aligned with the needs and values of the 21st century. It also aimed at making India superpower in education. It wants to provide good teachers, easy and valuable learning with playing to small children, beneficial higher education, proper commencement of exams in the whole nation. 

The purpose of this policy is looking perfect in many ways but its success is determined by how it is implemented. This policy is all about reducing the current defects of education system achieving the goal that is set by NEP. NEP will provide a more scientific and systematic approach to Indian education if a true vision of it is implemented. The new policies and structure of education can bring India at the top of the world in education if these were implemented or accepted systematically.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. What is the new name of Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD)?
  2. When Nep 2020 was approved and by whom?
  3. What are the new most important changes that have been done in Nep 2020?
  4. Give one advantage of the new National Education Policy 2020.
  5. Give one disadvantage of NEP 2020.

References:


[1] Approval was given to NEP 2020 by Union   Cabinet

[2] It is a policy under the Right to Education Act. it means that before completing elementary education i.e. from class 1 to 8 no student should be failed or barred from education.

[3] The enrolment ratio for primary, secondary and higher education- according to social economics of CBSE class 10th.    

[4] According to NEP 2020 M. Phil would no more be a link between Masters and PhD in India.

[5] “Courtyard shelter”- a type of rural child care centre in India

[6] First language that a person learns and a language which is used in a person’s home country.

[7] “Connected with knowledge, skills, etc. that you need to have to do a particular job”- according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

[8] “The act or process of making something international”- according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


[i] Citation(s): 1992 AIR 1858, 1992 SCR (3) 658, 1992 SCC (3) 666, JT 1992 (4) 292, 1992 SCALE (2)90

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