The Union Cabinet approved the first National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) of the 21st century on 29th July 2020. The NEP 2020 received large appreciation from the experts, teachers and students as it addresses the modern demands of the education and bring a holistic dimension to the education. The policy also addressed several drawbacks of the present education system.
- This blog highlights a few major drawbacks of the existed education system and how the new NEP 2020 addressed those problems.
- The blog also explains the argument against the policy.
Briefing the Major Drawbacks of Indian Education System?
The Indian literacy rate has shown a significant improvement in the past decade with the updated technologies and new government measures but thinking deeply in a practical manner (well I am not able to think in a practical manner!) do the Indian Education System impart an effective education? Could the existing education system help to meet the modern days demand? well, my answer is no! Here are a few reasons:
The basic belief on education.
There is a belief that education means Gradeeee. Never! grades and marks you score are just a small part of the education. But then what is a real Education? I would quote Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology there; Education as a holistic approach where Gandhiji believed life-centred and child-centred education. So my dear reader, If your child/student/friend is good in farming, that is an education; if they learn to sing, that is also an education, if they know fashion, is an education; good in sports, education and even if they know reading, writing and arithmetic, that is also an education. The NEP 2020 follows a Holistic approach and is a hope for the upcoming generation.
Exam Centric Curriculum!
The basic standard to measure a well-educated person as per the Indian Education system is the grade/qualification they receive and not based on the skill. From a young age, the parents and teachers squeeze the child to reproduce a good score for their final examinations, wrapping down the child’s potentials and preferences. Who is to be blamed? I would say neither the parent nor the teachers, but the system which made them like that.
The system which makes the student to eat the entire book for the examinations, the system in which the teachers complete the entire portion by three months and prepare the students to score high marks in the examinations. At the end, the ones with high scores will be under the institution’s glory list and rest under the institutions’ sorry list!
WIll a Fish climb a tree?? Yes, they will!
You may be familiar with this poster, explaining the Indian Education System:
Definitely the fish will climb the tree because the Indian education is good in building average climbers!!! But, later in the life, the fish will realise that they are more passionate and astonishing in swimming. The question is why they don’t realise this before? Maybe its because our education system was busy preparing question papers for final exams and most of the prepared question papers have nothing to do with our future. This is why APJ Abdul Kalam said:
“When the students pass out of senior secondary schools, they should have two certificates – of passing 10+2 examination and of a specific skill acquired by him during schooling,”.
According to him, besides the normal curriculum, the children should receive special training towards one skill set which will offer an extra certification which will not only help them get a job after school but also make them aware of how real-world industries function(IndiaToday, 2015).
Presenting the Academic Pressure Cooker!
The three groups of people that every student is worried in their education life are 1) Parents 2) Teachers and 3) Neighbours. Most of the students study to convince any/all of the numbered group. If you get good marks in exams its a task for you to maintain the consistency of marks in all exams otherwise you will have to hear this “Hayyo! What happened to you?”. If you are bad at studies you ll hear “You shameless idiot! just watch and learn from Raju uncle’s Son”.
So from childhood, the pressure starts:
- From class 1-9- Trying to be the topper of the class by writing the notes, byhearting it and writing those byhearted notes in paper.
- From 10 – Turning Point of Life ( People randomly meet us, just to say this)-We have to get good grades and percentages to get admission in good schools for our class 11–12.
- Class 11th- If we take science then we are considered a good student or else if we take arts/commerce then we are considered average or below-average student. No good student wants to have a below-average tag with them so there is only one option if you are good in studies, Go for science!! and if we take bio-maths, we could land up either as Doctor or Engineer(Wow!)
- Class 12th board- Here comes the greater war. we have to get the best possible percentage in 12th board because the neighbours will start comparing us if we get less mark than that expected mark (expected mark=neighbours brain molecules who built an expectation level for us).
- Now, we go to some college and would be busy mugging up things, completing assignment and lab notebooks and we ask ourself “Why I am learning to weld to be a biotechnology engineer”
If one could keep high grades throughout your academics, Congrats and cheers! he/she becomes the part of those 0.1% whom we call as successful people. Else we would continue to be an average person or just like a fish who learned about its passion for swimming very lately.
In short, in Indian Education System we write Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, Exam, then Job……
The mismatch on What one study and What one Does!
Let us begin within few statistics:
- In a survey report prepared by the Centre for Sustainable Employment at Azim Premji University, it is said that the unemployment among the well educated is thrice the national average. In India, there are 55 million people with a degree and about 9 million in them is unemployed.
- Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s survey state that the growth rate of jobs halves as education level rise and from the graph it is evident that, the more educated the less percentage of growth. ie; those educated between 6th and 9th saw the addition of 18 million jobs, implying an increase of 26% of jobs whereas those with graduation and post-graduation saw small growth in jobs.
- We can conclude from this that most of us invest our strengths (money, time and thoughts) in studies and what we earn is something very different. This is a crucial problem of the Indian Education System.
Let me share my own experience, I did my graduation in physics but now I am a social worker, I realised that my passion is not in physics and is for serving society in the middle of the physics graduation (2nd year). I used to regret my wrong decision at times but I used to suppress those feeling by thinking how I enjoyed my graduation period. There are many cases like this around us, the people who realise the real passion of him/her in later life. What if we had a medium to address our preferences and our passions rather than misinterpretations and mismatched decisions. This situation will lead to a Limbo Period (a period where you don’t know what to do or what decision to be taken).
The National Education Policy 2020- A hope to all Indians…
The union cabinet on 29th July 2020 approved the new National Education Policy 2020. Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B)Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, made the announcement on the NEP- 2020(HT, 2020).
Aim– To make “India a global knowledge superpower”
Renaming MHRD to Ministry of Education
The last National Education Policy which was introduced by Rajeev Gandhi in 1986 which renamed the ministry as the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD) and P V Narasimha Rao served as the first minister of MHRD. On last Wednesday, while presenting the third NEP 2020 of India, announced the renaming of MHRD as the Ministry of Education.
Major Highlights of NEP 2020, pulling down the existing Drawbacks
Extending the Right to Education from 3 years to 18 years.
- The age for Right to Education has extended.
- Before it was from 5 to 14 years ( preschool to high school), the new NEP announces the Right to free and compulsory education from 3 to 18 years old.
- This may impart an effective basic knowledge in children, as we know that most of the children enter into the education when they are three years old ( through Anganawadis or Playschool) but due to fewer privileges in families, many children start their education only when they are five years old. This reduce the basics obtained by that child when compared to another child who enters the preschool after attending the playschool/Anganwadi.
- Also before, the students only got free and compulsory education till the age of fourteen ( 8th standard), this has lead several students to stop their studies and engage in different activities.
- According to the NEP 2020, the government will invest additional money to promote the education of a child from three years to eighteen years. ( from preschool to twelfth standard).
The (5+3+3+4) structure
- The student enters into an education platform by the age of 3 (playschool).
- Then to Kinder garden ( LKG& UKG) -2 years
- The student then enters into his secondary education ( 1st grade to 10th grade) – 10 years
- After the tenth, two years of higher secondary education (+1 and +2).
- The number of years the same but the structure is divided considering the “cognitive-developmental stage“- early childhood, school years, and secondary stage.
- 5 years of Fundamental stage which include multilevel, play activity-based education.
- 3 years of Preparatory Stage which include play, discovery, and activity-based and interactive classroom learning ( Class 3-5).
- 3 Years of Middle stage which comprises of experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities (Class 6-8).
- 4 years of Secondary Stage- multidisciplinary study, greater critical thinking, flexibility and student choice of subjects (class 9-12).
More focus on vocational studies in school- level
Till now, the Indian education system focuses on the theories taught in the classes. Learn theories, write exam and pass to the next grade. The only practical session that a student get ll be the Physical Training period. The NEP 2020 has brought change to this system by introducing the vocational training from sixth grade. This will also increase the chance for students to find their passion and plan their future accordingly.
- As per the NEP 2020; Every child must learn at least one vocational course.
- A sampling of important vocational crafts, such as carpentry, electric work, metalwork, gardening, pottery making, etc., as decided by States and local communities during Grades 6-8.
- By 2025, at least 50% of learners through the school and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education.
- Similarly, students will have internship opportunity in vocational training throughout grade 6- 12, especially in holidays.
The New Exam Pattern
The concept of exam is a terror for all, even at times we used to curse the one who invented the exam because no exams are students friendly. If you get a good score you have to maintain that score for the entire life and if you have less score you have to hear the whole people comparing you with others. Hey! the good news is..we have a hope…
- According to NEP 2020, school students will take exams only for Classes 3, 5, and 8.
- Assessment in other years will shift to a “regular and formative” style that will be more “competency-based” to promote learning and development testing “higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”.
- The results of school examinations will be used only for developmental purposes and for continuous monitoring and improvement of the schooling system.
A Holistic Progress card…
The NEP 2020 has brought a multidimensional progress card which include:
- Self-assessment, peer assessment and teachers assessment.
- The card not only include your cognitive analysis but also your social-emotional and psychological assessment.
- the report will include progress in project-based and inquiry-based learning, quizzes, role plays, group work, portfolios, etc., to be included in report cards.
Best Highlights of NEP-2020 in Graduation Levels.
4-year of Undergraduate programme FYUP
- NEP 2020 adopted a four year UG programme, which was earlier proposed by Dinesh Singh ( former V-C of DU)
- In FYUP, the conventional three-year Bachelor’s degrees will remain, there will now be a four-year “multi-disciplinary” Bachelor’s programme.
- Students opting for a three-year Bachelor’s programme can choose a two-year Master’s programme which could be followed by a PhD.
- Students opting for the four-year Bachelor’s degree with Research can go for a one-year Master’s which is expected to make students ready for a PhD programme.
- To enrol for a PhD, a Master’s degree or the four-year Bachelor’s degree with Research is now mandatory; it is not clear whether this is referring to a year-long or a two-year Master’s degree(In Defence of MPhil, n.d.).
Dropping out? Don’t worry you ‘ll gain your credit!
According to the survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organisation, In this decade there is an increase in students opting for higher education but the survey also showed that the people who are dropping out is also increasing. We have discussed the example of fish, who understand its passion later in its life; Drop out happen when the students have no more interest in continuing the education or when he/she identifies ones passion in a different subject. If someone drops the course, what he/she earns is knowledge related to that course and countless shame.
- NEP 2020 focus on giving credits even though one could not complete his full education.
- If a student drops in the first year, the student will get a certificate.
- If the student drops in the second year, will get a Diploma.
- The students completing the third year will get a bachelor’s degree.
- The student completing the fourth year will receive a bachelor’s degree with research.
Flexibility in Subject.
As per the second NEP (1986), the students were not having enough freedom to chose their combinations of subjects. The students could only make their selection after the tenth standard. ( Computer science, bio maths, commerce…). Even in college, the students have to go with the complimentary coursed decided by the department.
- The NEP 2020 envisages broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic undergraduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, and integration of vocational education.
- Now the students could choose the subjects according to their passion ie: if a student like chemistry and maths but hate physics, he/she could choose another subject.
- This will help the students to learn different dimensions as per their passions.
- The students will be able to choose major and minor disciplines regardless of the subject combinations that have existed until now.
- This is expected to benefit those who are interested in multi-disciplinary courses.
- There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extracurricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
- According to the new National Education Policy, foreign universities will now be able to operate in India.
- This move will add ease for students who would like to seek foreign education and save them a lot on dollars. It will also raise the quality of higher education and accessible for a larger section compared earlier.
- The move will allow 200 top global universities to operate in India and provide quality education and raise standards of India varsities as well.
Controversy in National Education Policy 2020
- In a segment called ‘multilingualism, and power of language’, the new National Education Policy (NEP) says “wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language”.
- “Experts have found when a child is born he starts learning in his home language. It is not just in our country, in countries like France and Germany and even Nobel laureates have admitted that their knowledge of science or any other subject has been better when they studied it in their language,” Kasturirangan said.
- However, the policy gravely misses out on the factor that many students come from other states and might not know the regional or local language. As a result, its effort to promote diversity and pluricultural in language may go futile.
Summing up, the new NEP 2020, has brought many significant changes to the Education especially focusing on a “modern-demand” of education. The NEP 2020 was widely accepted by the education experts, teachers and students all over the nation. The base put forward by the Narendra Modi’s Government in the education system has become a success but the real essence lies in the implementation of the NEP 2020, which have to be catered from the top cities to the rural areas of the nation.
What is your opinion about the National Education Policy 2020??
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