By Upasna Anand
The most powerful weapon of today’s nation is education. It has made itself so important that even during a worldwide pandemic, parents want the best for their children by hook or by crook . It has become among the fundamental factors for the development of an individual. Additionally, it also plays a very crucial role in social progress and development of the nation.
As Ernest Agyemang Yeboah states that , “education is the spine of every nation! The better the education the better the nation!” i
Education policy and its importance
Education policy refers to the collection of laws and rules, adopted to achieve academic goals. Each sector needs to have implemented policies, as it forms a link between the school management, teachers, students, and rule of law.
In India, the government plays an important role in framing the National education which covers elementary education to college in both rural and urban India.
The first national education policy was framed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1968 and the second modified policy was brought by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.
Since 1947, the Indian government has sponsored a variety of programmes to deal with the problem of illiteracy. Our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the education minister of his cabinet, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad established a strong control over education throughout India with the uniform education system. The government established many commissions for the report to come up with a strong policy. They were – university education commission (1948- 1949), the secondary education commission (1952-1953), and the university grants commission and Kothari commission (1964-1966). At the same time in 1961 NCERT was also formed as an autonomous body to advise both the union and state government on formulating and implementing education policiesii. The report of Kothari commission and NCERT along with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came up with the first National education policy, in 1968 with the main objective being “radical restructuring “ and the principals –
1. Free and compulsory education
2. Education opportunities for all
3. Language development
4. Uniform education structure of 10+2+3 pattern
5. Education of teachers and many more.
With the advent of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, came the new education policy with some of the old principles of 1968. This new education policy of 1986 was brought with an aim “special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalize education opportunity” especially for Indian women, ST, and SC communities. This policy was modified in 1992 by the PV Narasimha Rao government and then came, the new additions and modification to the policy of 1986. Some of the important steps taken by the government are –
1. Greater attention to the backward classes
2. Emphasis to be laid on women’s education to overcome the illiteracy rate.
3. Institution to be provided with resources like infrastructure, libraries, labs.
4. The non-governmental organizations to be encouraged to facilities education in the countryiii .
The new revolution: national education policy 2020
The 34-year-old national policy in education has created a severe learning crisis in the children of the 21 st -century. It has reduced the thinking capacity, mental growth, and all-round development of the student. The student’s talent for memorizing and reproducing the same in the examination was given focus rather than their creativity. Hence, a flexible and creative learning process is the need of the hour, to make a successful and developed future of the nation .
The national education policy introduced by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020, is brought with an aim for universalization of education from preschool to secondary level with a 100% Gross enrollment ratio (GER) in school education by 2020 and to raise this GER in higher education to 50 % by 2025. To reach such a goal, the principles that the government introduced are –
1. The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to get replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. It will include 12 years of schooling and three years of Anganwadi and pre-schooling.
2. Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools; Vocational training to start from Class 6 with Internships.
3. Teaching up to, at least class 5 in mother tongue/ regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.
4. Assessment reforms with 360-degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
5. The policy envisages a broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate Program with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education, and multiple entries and exit points with appropriate certification.
6. Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits
7. Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, are found out as models of education of worldwide standards within the country.
8. Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
9. Over a while, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College or a constituent college of a university.
10. National Education Policy emphasizes on setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
11. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish ''Bal Bhavans'' as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras. 1
12. A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers, and expert organizations from across levels and regions.
13. States/UTs will set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.
14. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
15. Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).
16. A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.
17. An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration
• An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
• NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
• New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and higher education. National Institute for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up
• The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliestiv .
This national education policy 2020 was a much-awaited reform in the sector of education. This is brought to transform millions of lives in India with a commendable vision. This in itself, is a remarkable achievement but its potency depends on how effectively it is implemented and practiced throughout the country.
i Quote by Ernest Agyemang Yeboah, www.goodreaders.com
ii National policy on education, Wikipedia.org
iii Education policy, www.indiaeducation.net
iv New education policy 2020: advantages and disadvantages of NEP, www.oneindia.com