The New National Education Policy drafted by a committee headed by Dr.K.Kasturirangan is designed to meet the changing dynamics of the current education system.
The policy tried to address the challenges of access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability faced by the current education system. It emphasized early childhood care, current exam system, strengthening teacher training, restructuring regulatory framework, technology usage, vocational education, and adult education, among others.
Key Features:School education: 1. Early childhood care and education: In addition to problems of access, early childhood care, and education lacks qualified and trained teachers, having low standard pedagogy and having deficiencies in the curriculum. Hence draft Policy recommends a two-part curriculum for early childhood care and education which consists of
a)guidelines for up to three-year-old children(for parents and teachers), and
b)educational framework for three-to-eight-year-old children.2. RTE Act,2009: The draft Policy recommends to include early childhood education and secondary school education in the ambit of RTE Act so that all children between the ages of 3 to 18 are covered under the Act. It also recommends no detention of children till class 8.
3. Curriculum framework: This would consist of 5-3-3-4 design comprising
a)five years of foundational stage consisting of three years of pre-primary school and classes one and two,
b)three years of preparatory stage which consists of classes 3 to 5,
c)three years of middle stage which consists of classes 6 to 8 and
d)four years of secondary stage which consists of classes 9 to 12. The policy recommends a shift from rote learning of facts and procedures to holistic analysis based learning by reducing the curriculum to its essential core part.
4. School exam reforms: The policy proposes board exams in place of in-school final exams. For this, the Policy recommends State Census Examinations in classes 3,5 and 8 and the exams should test only core concepts, skills, and higher-order capacities. The students should be given flexibility in choosing subjects and the semester when they want to take these board exams.
5. School infrastructure: The Policy recommends that the multiple public schools in close habitations should be brought together to form a school complex so that the resources such as infrastructure and trained teachers can be shared across school complex.
6. Regulation of schools: The Policy recommends independent State School Regulatory Authority for each state that will prescribe uniform standards for public and private schools across the state.
The Policy aims to increase Gross Enrollment Ratio to 50% by 2035 from the current level of about 25.8%.
1. Regulatory structure: Instead of multiple regulators the Policy recommends National Higher Education Regulatory Authority which would include professional and vocational education so that the role of professional councils such as AICTE and Bar Council Of India would be limited to setting standards of professional practice.
2. Establishing a National Research Foundation: It is an autonomous body to fund, mentor and build capacity for quality research in India.
3. Optimal Learning environment: The policy recommends a shift from rigid, archaic curricula. It recommends that all higher education institutions must be given autonomy in curriculum, resource-related matters.
4. Restructuring of higher education institutions: into
a)research universities focusing equally on research and teaching,
b)teaching universities focusing primarily on teaching,
c)colleges focusing only on teaching at undergraduate levels and these institutes will move towards autonomy in academic and administrative matters.
5. Education Governance: In order to bring synergy among departments, ministries the Policy recommends a National Education Commission to be headed by Prime Minister which will oversee the implementation and functioning of several bodies like NCERT, National Research Foundation, etc.
6. Financing education: The Policy recommends spending of 6% of GDP on education and also seeks to double the public investment in education from 10% of total public expenditure to 20% in the next 10 years.
7. Technology in Education: National Mission on Education through ICT will provide remote access to laboratories in various disciplines and National Repository on Educational Data will be set up to maintain all records related to students, institutions, and teachers in digital form.
Less than 5% of the workforce in the age group of 19-24 years receives vocational education in India. The Policy recommends integrating vocational educational programs in all educational institutions in a phased manner over 10 years.
National Committee for the integration of Vocational Education will be set up to achieve the intended goals in vocational education in India.
3 language formula: flexibility given to states to select subjects. The state governments should implement a modern Indian language preferably southern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English in Hindi speaking states and of regional language, English and another language preferably Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.
. In the case of early childhood care and education, the focus is more on physical resources and less focus is provided to psychosocial stimulation for development.
. There is no government system to take care of babies of poor families or of mothers who go to work for daily wages. The experimental project of Fulwari or community-managed crèches in Chattisgarh is one answer to this gap.
. There needs to be a discussion on whether literacy and numeracy skills should be developed during the time of foundational learning.
. In the draft Policy, there is no mention of how the State regulatory body will regulate the government institutions.
. Increasing the limit on the higher side of education i.e.., up to 18 is not consistent with the limits across the world. Also, it is a very expensive proposition.
. There is not enough capacity in the country to provide for teachers education. Also, there is more focus given to B.Ed and M.Ed has been given less importance under the policy.
. There are fewer consensuses on the integration of foundational learning with schooling. In Europe, compulsory education begins at the age of 6. In countries like Denmark and Finland, compulsory education begins at the age of 7.
. Natal and prenatal studies should also be included in the country’s education system to ensure awareness about the issues related to mother and infants, considering high IMR and MMR in the country.
. There should be a course of Masters of Teacher Education. Also, there is a need to build good teacher training institutions.
. The education policy should maintain a symbiotic relationship between the different regions of the country through the study of different languages.
The Indian education system should focus on churning out not just engineers, but also entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, writers, etc, all of whom are influential in the development of the economy.Also read: A Case Of Confused Thinking: On Draft National Education Policy All About Draft National Education Policy And EQUIP https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/focussing-on-the-critical-years-of-a-childs-life/article28764929.ece