It has come after decades of delay and deliberations. To be precise it took 34 years. This is the third after 1968 and 1992 under Indira Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao, respectively. Narender Modi's, NEP 2020, in many senses is a promise for paradigm shift towards making Indian Education System “World Class” and inviting the world to be India’s partner in shaping up young minds. By 2040, when the policy is supposed to be fully operational, India will be producing “World Ready” Professionals.
Apart from the major announcements of:
- Formalisation of schooling form the age of 3 under the new (5+3+3+4) model. Corresponding to 3-8,8-11,11-14 and 14-18 age groups respectively.
- Mother tongue as a preferred medium of instruction along with “three language formula”.
- Doing away with UGC and AICTE
- Getting rid of Drop-out phenomenon and flexibility to easily change the choice of subjects.
There are other big takeaways
- Setting up of an Autonomous body, the National technology forum (NETF). This platform will be responsible for better usage of technology in learning, assessment, planning and administration through free exchange of Ideas,
- Setting up PARAKH (National Centre for Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic development). Through this the government wants to move to competency-based assessment.
- Focus on Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs). Through this the government intends to address the issues of gender equality, special needs and socio-economic divide.
- Thrust on online and digital education, thereby ensuring reach, accessibility and quality. The already existing platform like DIKSHA and SWAYAM will be strengthen under this initiative.
- Integration of vocational training at all levels
- Increase in Public investment in Education Sector. The government aims to take it to 6% against the current 4.6% of the GDP
- Allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India. This will provide opportunities for Indian students to access global education, in the country.
But even while the new policy is being applauded as a big bang reform in education, the real test lies in the implementation. Senior Journalist, Abhishek Chaudhary says, “For varsity level, the changes are highly welcome as entry-exit becomes easier due to credit bank system. But how exactly it will affect specialised premier institutes is still to be known.”
Speaking to Csrlive, Prof. Ashok Upadhyay, Head of Political Science Department in BHU says, “Its a welcome move by the government and the policy looks optimistic and positive. However, the real test lies in the details of the execution, primarily because of the poor and abysmal education Infrastructure in rural India”.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister himself took to twitter on Saturday. In a series of tweets, he emphasized on the importance of the New Education Policy, 2020 as a game changer in terms of access, quality, He tweeted “21st century is the era of knowledge and time to focus on learning, research and innovation and that is what this policy intents to achieve”
But Political leaders have already started questioning the intent and content of the policy. According to PTI, Samajwadi party President Akhilesh Yadav said “The objective of the New Education Policy announced by the Centre was to propagate the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “According to this agenda, the curriculum will now be presented in a special colour to mould the new generations,”
Meanwhile, Delhi Education Minister, Manish Sisodia while talking to scroll.in said. “The new policy has not been able to break free of the old ways of understanding and imparting education. “The other big problem with the policy is that it is either silent or confused about how to achieve the proposed reforms and requirements,”
By 2024, India is all set to become the most populous country in the world, thereby creating a big demand for good quality and accessible education. That if the government is serious about making India a “Global Powerhouse”, led by the knowledge economy. But there are challenges when it comes to implementation considering government’s poor track record on execution and implementation of big-ticket reforms.
Education being a subject on the concurrent list, also will make it difficult for the Modi Government to implement NEP 2020. The non-BJP ruled states have already been on a war-path with the central government after the bitter experience of the badly implemented GST.
So, even while the vision document has been presented in the form of NEP 2020 the promise of this paradigm shift still remains a wishful thinking, till the time the government comes up with the nuances of the execution plan and operational roadmap for the implementation of this big bang reform.