A systematic education policy is the backbone for the overall development of youth in developed or developing nations. As, we all say and we often mean it that Youth is the future of a nation, so it’s in our hands whether to make them or destroy them. If we have a deep down look at the global standards of education, it is not just grades oriented rather it strives to achieve a proper development of soft and vocational skills throughout the learning period of a child.
If we dig back in Indian History, we had got our first draft of education policy from the period of English Rule which hails back to 1854 when Charles Wood prepared a draft which was called to be Magna Carta of English Education in India. Even though this was made to prove fruitful for the English, but this was a step to bring a new ray of hope in the dome of darkness which was slavery. Then, came the Education policy of 1968 under then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, which laid its main focus on providing education equally to all sections of society leaving behind the ugly differences of Indian Society. The second NEP was introduced by Mr. Rajiv Gandhi during his tenure as Prime Minister in 1986 which opened many new doors to education as such Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day meal, Kendariye Vidhlayas, and moreover in this policy subject of Education was transferred to the concurrent list from the State list. So, after a time span of almost around 34 years, India gets its New Education Policy which was drafted in 2019 by the Chief of ISRO K. Kasturirangan, and implemented by Human Resource Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. The main highlights of this Policy lay its focus on bridging the gap between the Global standards and Indian standards of Education.
Finally, after being given a green flag by the government, NEP 2020 is on the way for its implementation from August 2020. According to the main highlights of New Education Policy 2020, the Ministry of Human Resource Development to be renamed as Ministry Of Education keeping its main focus on providing quality education to every child of our nation by 2030. The Draft which has 484 pages mainly aims in four sections, and mainly aims at following the rule of 5+3+3+4 in which the entire age group of children to be divided. The policy has 4 major directives on which the main focus lies:-
- School education
- Higher Education
- Auxiliary and overall development areas
- Metamorphosis of present existing education system
The main eye catching focus lies on giving vocational education to students in order to make them ready for the challenges in the changing market. Introduction of various vocational training programs and courses in the juvenile age would enhance their problem solving and analyzing skills. As we all are aware of the fact that age group of children till 9 years of age has the most sensitive brain and can be molded in any way we want. Moving ahead, the most crucial period lies in the early teens when there is uttermost confusion among the students and mostly children choose the wrong path. NEP focuses on providing them with the direction to pursue their passion along with the academics, as there would be no rigid combination as such Non-Medical, or Arts, it would flexible system for the children to choose what they want. It has also solved the most gullible question which arises in the minds of peers that, Are Exams the right criteria to judge the efficiency of an individual? In a nutshell, we can say that NEP 2019 is hope in the tunnel of darkness for the students who lack behind in grasping the books but possess amazing skills. This policy aims at making children self-reliant and inspires them to attain success at an earlier age rather than just beating the bush thinking of a white collared corporate job.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEP 2020
- It believes in breaking the shackles of children in which they were groped, which often lead them to depression or exam pressure. It aims for the overall development of the students for toddler to an adult.
- The Right To Education Act to be expanded in order to cover students from age group of 3 years to 18 years.
- Help them make job providers rather than job seekers, imbibing the vocational skills from an early age can help them to be self-reliant so that instead of seeking a job they become the job providers in the market.
- Breaking down the educational myths that marks are only required if you want to succeed in life, laying down the simpler combinations for upcoming millennial in order to help them pursue their passion as well as education.
- It was initiated to change the name of Ministry of Human Resource Development to Ministry of Education.
- It aims at bringing the five motives together in education as such Access, Equity, Quality, Accountability and Affordability of education.
- The proposal of restructuring the educational system with a aim to include early childhood learning years as they are the most crucial for a child’s development.
- To ensure the growth of local and regional languages, education till standard 5 to ensure a child’s proper growth, hence breaking the only English myth.
- Bringing back the concept of vocational courses to ensure the overall development and ensure to make them particular in the field they excel.
- Support for the gifted students, a proper department in order to recognize the opportunities for the god gifted children to provide them with a good lifestyle.
- As we all know that Teachers play the most important and crucial role in the development of children from the tender age, hence to provide them with proper facilities and training programs in order to ensure proper teaching practices. We all know that the conditions of teachers in India are not up to the mark where it should be. Therefore, incentives and scholarships to be given to the girls or students who wish to pursue B.Ed. in the rural areas to enhance their skills and bring forward quality teachers in government schools, TET to be made in a way that strengthens the core skills of teachers.
- The practice of transfer of teachers to be halted in order to provide some time to students to follow the proper path in order to ensure a proper inspiration and role model. And to ensure a proper no of teachers for every subject mainly for vocational courses, arts and sports.
- Report cards to be accessed on basis of 360 degree development not leaving any stone unturned.
- Ensuring the restructuring of the system of higher education and colleges, multiple entry and exit points to be made in order to give students a way to restart their studies if they leave in between due to various reasons and for same Academic Bank Of Credits to be made to credit the years of study as credit points.
- Undergrad courses to be made for 4 years.
- Providing with the combinations which are more flexible and not just the rigid old school. Majors and Minors can be taken from any different fields for eg. (Chemistry & Music).
- The National Research Foundation to be made the apex body for carrying out the research projects in education and in order to enhance the research culture in India.
- Higher Education Commission of India to be set up as the soul to provide a uniform set of rules for accreditation except Legal and Medical fields. *Private and Public higher education centers to be evaluated on same standard norms and rules.
- Recommendation to form an INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION.
- Introduction of Foreign Languages In the educational institutions.
- Many new policies to be made in order to bridge the gaps between regions and castes in order to bring forward every child to make their living better by providing them quality education.
- To coordinate the entire work proposal brought forward to make an apex body Rashtriya Shisksha Ayog.
In order to keep the spirit alive for providing quality education, The education policy to be reviewed every 5 years, and the vacancies of the teachers to be filled with the quality staff.
LOOPHOLES IN NEP 2020
- The biggest issue with the policy is that it is not able to identify the real problems as, how is it possible to give proper education with the concept of exist points.
- Even though the policy can be called a progressive affair but we should not forget that children from age 7 to 14 are also engaged in child labour in India, even having strict norms against this.
- Around 35 to 40 percent students drop out to schools due to any reason as such marriage, work in order to support their families, lack of interest (to be precise lack of motivation to study).
- Around 23 million girls drop out of school after attaining their age of Puberty and are married as they are considered to be a taboo on the societal standards.
- No provision of providing awareness on Sex Education and Awareness on HIV, harassment, sexual offences and all the laws related to this be it POSH.
- By making futile guidelines as to provide provision of making open schools for the migratory children when these children themselves are mainly involved in child labour and are children of informal labourers.
- Same is with the guidelines to provide Breakfast as part of midday meals, We agree that breakfast is essential but what about the standard of food which is already being provided in the midday meals.
- Providing with the subject combinations with can be chosen from any fields and systematic provision of junior colleges to be closed will lead to shutting down of many such centers in the bigger metropolitan cities.
- If the already existing teachers are not involved with a dialogue regarding this policy, then the whole system will turn out to be a failure.
- Another significant point which was highlighted was the use of technology but nowhere has been said about the digitalization of classrooms.
- Importance of vocational courses is highlighted but no provision for how sports and other physical activities to be made a significant part of the timetable and course.
- If implemented then the policy would need a lot of funding to the Education sector, which is considerably decreased in this tenure, so most probably this policy to be shifted to Public Private Partnership, in terms of finances. Not to forget that India is the second highest populated country after China,
- Procedure for the implementation still remains a question mark as it has not be specified under any head points as how will these changes be made in the rigid societal structure.
- As M.Phil. is discontinued and the basic criteria for a professor be a Ph.D. which is the lengthiest course to be completed.
- Disturbing the FEDERAL structure of constitution by implementing central rule of addition and subtraction of syllabi from the courses.
- Would affect teachers at a greater extent as there are many who do not fell under the basic criteria of Teacher qualification
- Providing distant learning is always a challenge due to lack of resources with the students to buy the basic necessities.
Hence in a nutshell we can conclude that, if this policy is implemented with all the proposed agendas within the proposed timeline, it would greatly affect the educational sector in a positive way, but if in case it goes wrong, it would shatter the existing education system as now too it is deteriorating. Moreover if this is implemented it would be the best founding stone for the students who wish to pursue their passion as well as studies. But, considering the loopholes it always remains a wit’s task to provide this policy to each and every corner in the country. (Do not forget India is second largest populous country with a hurdle of poverty)
Author: Awaljot Kaur, Department of Laws, Panjab University Chandigarh