All About ‘The National Education Policy’

The Union Cabinet’s newly declared National Education Policy (NEP) proposes sweeping changes in school and higher education. The New Education Policy is a welcome move, which will help propel India’s education system in the right direction. The policy recognises the need of the hour, and places increased focus on technology-based learning and application through virtual labs and divvying-friendly software, which if implemented effectively, will lead to equitable access to education while creating a more future-ready workforce. Allowing Indian universities to set up offshore campuses as well as facilitating foreign universities to operate in India, will not only increase the quality of education but also strengthen India’s position on the map as a global education destination.

To clear a few doubts let’s discuss about what exactly NEP is?

Purpose of NEP

To guide the development of education in the country, the National Education Policy is made. It was in 1964 that the need for an education policy was felt when congress criticized the then government for lacking a vision and philosophy for education. At that time, 17 members of Education Commission, headed by then UGC Chairperson D S Kothari was constituted to draft a national policy on education. Parliament passed the first education policy, based on the suggestions of this commission.

The Education Policy largely focuses on the curriculum, easier board exams, a reduction in the syllabus to retain core essentials and to experiment with new learning & critical thinking.

Now the question arises, how will these reforms be implemented?

However, the NEP only provides a broad direction and isn’t mandatory to follow. The policy cannot be implemented immediately, the government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy. As earlier in 1968, the policy was hamstrung due to insufficient funds. The govt. had planned to set up subject-wise committees including the members of relevant ministries at both the central and state levels to develop implementation plans for each aspect of NEP. The plan will be mainly consisting of lists about the actions to be taken by multiple bodies, including state Education Departments, the HRD Ministry, school boards, NCERT, CBSE and NTA (National Testing Agency).

However, the policy isn’t binding on all the states. The policy provides a board direction and state governments are expected to follow them. But it is not mandatory. For instance, in 1968 when the first education policy was made, Tamil Nadu did not follow the three-language formula that was prescribed by then.

The New Education Policy will transform the education system in India in the near future. It focuses on holistic and blended learning. The NEP will further be helpful in providing impetus to Government’s Skill India, Start India and Digital India Mission. We happily welcome this change and look forward to the implementation of this policy.

Unlike the old 10+2 school education system from the 1986 policy, the NEP pitches for a “5+3+3+4” design corresponding to the age groups 3-8 years, 8-11 years, 11-14 years and 14-18 years.

India has seen liberalisation, globalisation and economic change. At least private universities could update and change curriculum but public universities remained largely stagnant. The new NEP is very forward and student-centric. Like the Academic credit bank, which allows students to pick and choose what they want to study. It will lead to two things — mobility of students across faculties and universities will increase. However, what is critical now is training teachers and changing their mindset to adapt to the new challenges.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelloPost.)

Contributed by Uttam Singh, Principal, Jindal Public School, New Delhi. He believes in preparing students for better tomorrow by imbibing values with education and giving utmost priority to discipline.