The National Education Policy 2020 transforms the Indian education system and brings forth a skill-oriented curriculum for the schools and higher education institutes. The Policy aims to not only restructure education but also revamps the teaching and assessment systems in schools and colleges. NEP 2020 is specifically what India needs to dominate the future decades of growth and steer the education requirements of our youth.
The vision of the policy appreciates the “one size will not fit all” principle through its approach of creating multi-disciplinary environments to cater to the all-round development of the student. The policy provides for complete parity and inclusion of all the social groups in the process of improving the quality of education and taking the Indian education ecosystem to a global level. I am delighted to see an inclusive policy that aims to address the future learning needs which will engrain practical skill-based learning to shape the students to be Industry ready. The policy very well addresses most of the critical issues that overwhelm our current education landscape and in entirety brings about a paradigm shift that we need for a skill-based education in India.
The policy shall replace the regulatory regime of the Higher Educational Institutions with a single-higher-education regulator, and, among other things, moving forward with graded autonomy for higher educational institutions is a tectonic shift. The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), will displace the UGC-AICTE regime and thereby the conflict of interest that affected the functioning of the UGC, which created several quality issues in higher education, will no longer exist. The treatment will be the same for all universities, private or public, which could translate into greater evenness of standards among HEIs.
NEP talks about the importance of liberal arts and a hugely flexible curriculum with multiple exit/entry points and the credit bank that would give students a lot of flexibility in getting educated and simultaneously working with the industry. Further, implementing local languages as the medium of instruction till Class 5 is important in the early phase of education because pedagogical studies in the past have established that the child’s strength in comprehending the principles and in demonstrating creativity manifests best in the mother tongue as well in the local language.
However, the fee regulation is a major challenge because most of the universities/ HEIs in India is funded by the Government, which means the cost of education is heavily subsidized in these institutions with a cap on the fee charged from the students. The new policy is likely to thwart HEIs, private universities, and few top public universities from charging the fees that would be required for expansion plans and ensuring quality in terms of research and education. It is imperative to remember that for India to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030 i.e., to provide inclusive and equitable quality education for all the citizens, it would be improbable to anticipate large investments coming solely from the government and purely philanthropic ingenuities.
With the emphasis on knowledge-economy driven growth in the 21st century, proper implementation of the reforms and ideas envisioned in the NEP 2020 will fundamentally transform India. The NEP 2020 portrays an overweening and unshakable impulse – that of seeing India’s youth become great, self-reliant, and conscious of their strength and civilizational wisdom.
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