The Indian government on 29th July 2020 replaced Education policy, framed in 1986, with the New Education Policy of 2020. The NEP (National Education Policy ), approved by the union cabinet, makes sweeping reforms in school and higher education including teaching. Some of the biggest highlights of the NEP 2020 are,
Schooling starts at the age of 3 years now
The New Education Policy expands age group 6-14 years of mandatory schooling to 3-18 years of schooling. Three years of pre-schooling, between the age group of 3-6 years have been brought under under the formal schooling which was outside the formal schooling hitherto.
With an emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the 10+2 structure of schooling is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
2. Mother tongue as medium of instruction
The NEP puts focus on students’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction even as it sticks to the ‘three language formula’ but also mandates that no language would be imposed on anyone. The NEP only recommends the mother tongue as medium of instruction, and not make it compulsory.
3. No UGC, AICTE, NCTE
Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
4. Science, arts, commerce gets blurred
Under NEP 2020, there will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. Students can select subjects of their liking across the streams. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
5. FYUP Programme Returns & No More Dropouts
Under the NEP, undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration with multiple exit options within this period. College will be mandated to give certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme.