India has finally introduced a much needed revamp to the education policy for realizing its ambitions in the educational sector and for ensuring its well suited to current times.
But does it live up to the hype and praise its been getting from all the national media?One cannot seem to get rid of the questions regarding several key decisions outlined in India’s National Education Policy 2020.
The NEP includes a plethora of changes from the prevailing educational model, and some of them much needed as well.
NEP seems to put emphasis on regional language or mother tongue and recommends that these be the medium of instruction be until 5th standard and that no language be forced on the students.
Since it isn’t a mandatory guideline, how language will be enforced will be up to the school, institutions and the state govt.
Centre has outlined it will make linguistic policies more clearer in the National curriculum framework bound to be released in 2021.
What are the changes to school system in India under NEP 2020?
The current 10+2 structure will be replaced with a 5+3+3+4 model.
The initial 5 years will be considered as the foundational stage involving 3 years of pre-school or anganwadis and the classes 1 and 2.The focus will be on activity based learning.
The next 3 years will see the students introduced with subjects like science , maths and at the same time be provided with avenues for skill development.
From 6-8 more abstract topics in science and math will be taught and finally in 9-12 will include multidisciplinary study and training students in critical thinking.
It is a very good move to instigate the skill of coding in students early on and as with the rapid pace in growth of computer based technologies,learning to code in time will prove to be an invaluable addition to student’s repertoire.Its imperative that coding be inculcated at a very young age.
Apart from the mid-day meal scheme govt also seems to be pondering about about the inclusion of breakfast as student’s physical and mental health will be given priority.
Reduction of workloads in higher classes to facilitate extra curricular activities is a welcome decision as is Conducting board exams twice a year as it may reduce the pressure for students with two chances for test taking a year .
What does the policy fail to adress?
NEP 2020 doesn’t really inform on how the growing school differentiation will be thwarted.The govt schools are mostly attended by students from disadvantaged castes and adhivasis, while private schools are sprouting up everywhere, where the middle and advantaged classes send their children.
Why is there a need to admit children in private schools in the first place?Is there a lack of quality in education in govt schools?These are questions that should be pondered and adressed.
Not to mention these types of schools are run by individuals with intend of lucrative gains and less concerned with quality of education.So is there a fake image of imparting superior education being created by these privately run institutions.
Plus Another issue NEP misses out on is the signficance of the climate factor and ecology.
India has seen its fair share of natural disasters these past few years.I mean the disaster graph shows a boom every year at a certain point of time especially during the monsoon.
Now these anomalies are becoming the new normal.States especially kerala, hailed as god’s own country suffer from floods induced by heavy rains every year causing innumerable losses to life and property.
All this is happening because we keep overlooking the ecology , nature can only give us so much that if we take too much , it will retaliate.
And when it does, it goes beyond human capacities to avert it.
As a thoughtful step forward the NEP could have realised the importance of ecology and the role it plays in our survival and could have enforced it as something mandatory that studendts must be mentored in.
Forcing people to protect nature without providing reason and without making them realize why its necessary is futile.
Best is to educate children at a very young age so they may realize the need to protect nature from themselves so that future life can be sustained.
For a policy that claims to be inclusive it still doesn’t properly explain how marginalized sections of society will be able to gain access to proper education.
For example during the pandemic we heard students committing suicide because they couldn’t afford these smartphones and technology to access classes and so felt being left out.
There is a need to further examine the quality of education imparted through distance or online learning.A heavy filtration process is required indeed to rid of the institutions and modes of education that doesn’t live up to expectations in standards of schooling.
Why because , unemployment is at a high , there are so many young people with degrees but considered unemployable.
How can we make our youth job ready , including a more practical based approach in the final years may help.
Don’t even get me started with the IIMs and IITs , there are only a handful of institutes that do live up to standards and admission to these institutes are heavily contested.
More such institutions of national excellence should be brought up so that everyone has a chance and it might reduce the no of students going abroad seeking quality higher education.
NEP has been somewhat a case of so close but yet so far , I wouldn’t be too critical but still lots of room for improvement and examination and some of them pretty significant questions as well that ought to be looked in to by the govt.