Education Policy lays particular emphasis on the development of the creative potential of each individual. It is based on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive capacities - both the ‘foundational capacities ’of literacy and numeracy and ‘higher-order’ cognitive capacities, such as critical thinking and problem solving – but also social, ethical, and emotional capacities and dispositions.
The teacher must be at the center of the fundamental reforms in the education system. The new education policy must help re-establish teachers, at all levels, as the most respected and essential members of our society, because they truly shape our next generation of citizens. It must do everything to empower teachers and help them to do their job as effectively as possible. The new education policy must help recruit the very best and brightest to enter the teaching profession at all levels, by ensuring livelihood, respect, dignity, and autonomy, while also instilling in the system basic methods of quality control and accountability. The new education policy must provide to all students, irrespective of their place of residence, a quality education system, with particular focus on historically marginalized, disadvantaged, and underrepresented groups. Education is a great leveler and is the best tool for achieving economic and social mobility, inclusion, and equality. Initiatives must be in place to ensure that all students from such groups, despite inherent obstacles, are provided various targeted opportunities to enter and excel in the educational system. These elements must be incorporated taking into account the local and global needs of the country, and with a respect for and deference to its rich diversity and culture. Instilling knowledge of India and its varied social, cultural, and technological needs, its inimitable artistic, language, and knowledge traditions, and its strong ethics in India’s young people is considered critical for purposes of national pride, self-confidence, self-knowledge, cooperation, and integration.
Highlights of the New Education Policy
All higher education institutes excluding the medical and law colleges will be governed by a single regulator.
MPhil courses will now be terminated.
Board exams will now be more application and knowledge-based.
Both the public and private higher education institutes will be governed under the same norms.
To promote and give more emphasis on the regional language/mother-tongue, instruction medium up to class 5 will be in local/home languages.
All entrance exams for higher education institutes and universities will be held commonly.
School curriculum to focus more on core concepts.
Vocational education will also be imparted from 6th grade onwards.
10+2 study culture discontinue and new structure of 5+3+3+4 will be followed, subjecting to the respective age group of 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years.
Changes Introduced In Higher Education
50% Increase In GER: The NEP aims at increasing the current GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) from 26.3% to 50 by 2035. According to the NEP it is being speculated that 3.5 crore new seats will be added for higher education.
Overall Multidisciplinary Education: The policy provides for a holistic, multidisciplinary and broad-based undergraduate education with flexible study plans, more options in choosing the subjects, including and focusing more on vocational education and more flexibility to enter and exit the course with authorized certification. Undergraduates will now have the option to choose the number of years as per their requirement ranging from 1-4 years with appropriate certification. For example, certificate after 1 year, advanced diploma after 2 years, license after 3 years and research license after 4 years.
Regulations: The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be established as a single and comprehensive coordinating body for all higher education, except for medical and legal education. HECI will have four independent verticals:
The National Council for the Regulation of Higher Education (NHERC) for regulation.
The General Council of Education (GEC) for standardization.
The Council for Higher Education Grants (HEGC) for funding.
The National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
HECI will operate through faceless intervention through technology and will have the power to penalize higher education institutions that do not conform to norms and standards.
Institutional Architecture: Defining a university will allow for the creation of a variety of institutions ranging from research-intensive universities to education-intensive universities and independent degree-granting colleges. University membership should be phased out in 15 years and a progressive mechanism should be put in place to grant progressive autonomy to universities. Over time, each university is expected to become an independent degree-granting university or a college that constitutes a university.
Teacher Training: NCTE will formulate a new comprehensive national educational framework for teacher training, NCFTE 2021, in consultation with NCERT. As per the policy of the new education system, by 2030, a teacher will require a minimum of B.Ed. degree of 4 years for teaching in any institution. Continued action will be taken against lower quality Autonomous Teacher Training Institutions (TEIs).
Open And Distance Learning: Open and distance learning will have a vital role in increasing the GER. Measures will be taken such as online courses and digital repositories, research funding, improvement of student services, recognition of MOOCs on the basis of credits, etc. to ensure that it is keeping up with the standards of imparting the highest quality of classroom programs.
Online education and digital education: A comprehensive set of recommendations is provided in NEP, for the promotion of online education in the wake of the recent outbreak of pandemics to ensure the availability of quality alternative education modes anytime and anywhere. MHRD will create a special unit focusing only on the building of digital content and infrastructure to ensure the futuristic goal of e-education is met for higher education and schools.
Vocational Education: All types of occupational education and training will be a fundamental part of the higher education system, to strengthen the base of the students for different professions. An internship of 10 days in a year will also be provided to the students in local vocations according to the area or region. Autonomous technical universities, universities of health sciences, legal and agricultural universities, etc. they aim to become multidisciplinary institutions.
Financial Education: The NEP aims at increasing the current GDP to 6% higher at the earliest. And for this both the state and center government will work together and promote the increase of public investment in the education sector.
These were all the changes in detail that were proposed and introduced in the New Education Policy 2020.