The recent announcement involving the introduction of a New Education Policy 2020 with a pedagogical restructuring of the earlier existing “10+2” to “5+3+3+4” pattern is being looked at with high hopes of improvement within the education system of India. Mainly because it is deemed to eliminate the gaps in the current learning outcomes. And also because the changes that have been suggested through the new policy will affect Students, Education, and Development on a larger horizon.
The formulation of the framework will be undertaken by NCERT encouraging local content and flavour. In the new structure, a strong emphasis will be laid on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) with an aim to promote children’s overall experiential learning, holistic development, and well-being and curtail the rate of dropouts from school in rural areas.
While the new establishments are being rendered as operationally effective from the year 2021-2022, it is important to analyze in detail these major reforms which will bring lifelong learning opportunities for students.
Aim of the New Education Policy
- Identifying and fostering capabilities of each student in both academic and non-academic spheres
- Enhancing thrust on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by Grade 3 and Multilingualism.
- Flexibility and no hard separation between vocational and academic subjects
- Offering a multidisciplinary approach to enhance skilled learning, creativity, and conceptual understanding.
- Focus on life skills and use of technology
Benefits of New Education Policy at School level
1. At Foundational Stage: Subdivided into two parts: 3 years of preschool followed by classes 1 and 2 in primary school (3-8 years). Studies in this stage will be based on activities promoting play way methods. For instance- No dress code for children, and Focus on creating a home-like environment to curtail drop-out rates etc.
- Early Childhood Care and Education- Provide access to education equally for all students alike consisting of flexible, multi-faceted, and play-based learning activities. Story-telling methods to be adopted to engage children.
- Focus on introducing children to more aspects like– numeracy languages, counting, shapes, drawing, colours, puzzles and logical thinking, problem-solving, painting, art & craft, drama and puppetry, music, and movement ensuring high-quality integration of subjects with life.
- Three language formula will continue to promote national unity– No state can impose any particular language on any school to choose as a medium of instruction.
- No Exams at foundational stages- There will be no exam for children in the first five years to encourage kids to come to school regularly without the burden of exams.
- Pupil-teacher Ratio- a pupil-teacher ratio of under 30:1 is designed to be maintained at every school.
2. Preparatory Stage: This preparatory stage will cover Classes 3 to 5 designed to bracket the age group 8-11 years. Subjects like speaking, physical education, reading, writing, languages, art, science and mathematics will be introduced.
- Language- In addition to English and Hindi as mediums, children will also be offered to opt for languages to learn between- Korean, German, French, Spanish, Thai, Russian, etc.
- Midday Meals— The midday meals will include breakfast focusing on the health of the students. For e.g, groundnuts/ chana mixed with jaggery and local fruits shall be provided.
- Book Content– The content created for books will be inclusive of ancient books like- Panchatantra, Jataka stories, Hitopadesh to instil in children values like- ahimsa, tolerance, empathy, embracing ethical values of what’s right, etc. the content will be framed by NCERT in conjunctions with SCERT to support regional languages.
- Children will be taken on activity-filled tours.
- Better Infrastructure at disadvantaged places– As part of the goal to facilitate access to high-quality education, special attention will be given to places at socio-economically disadvantaged districts. With better designed, well-ventilated, play-equipped centres will be built.
3. Middle Stage: The middle stage will cover Classes 6 to 8, covering children between the age group of 11-14 years. It will introduce students to the more abstract concepts in subjects of mathematics, sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
- Digitalization- Towards an advanced and brighter future, coding will be introduced from class 6 as part of experiential learning. Children with different disability levels will be able to enrol in desirable courses and access to education at home.
- Vocational options to be offered– Children from grade 6-12 will have 10-day bagless periods along with internship opportunities for students to learn throughout the grades.
- Students will participate in crafts: such as carpentry, metalwork, electric work, gardening, pottery making, etc.
4. Secondary Stage: The secondary stage will cover Classes 9 to 12, covering the age group of children 14-18 years.
Structure of exams under National Education Policy 2020
Board exams will be held for classes 10 and 12 with a modified standard to be decided by an assessment body, PARAKH. It will allow students to avail two attempts twice in a year to appear for the exams. There will be objective and descriptive choices.
- Curriculum Load- The main emphasis will be towards lessening the burden of education allowing them to take a more “inter-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual” approach towards studies. For instance- a candidate will be able to choose fashion designing along with physics subjects.
- Focus on greater thinking– The stage will comprise concepts focusing on enhancing critical thinking, attention to life aspirations, the flexibility of subjects, etc.
- Expansion of Libraries- Inspiration content with high-quality translation shall be extended in libraries. Along with this, Book Promotion Policy will be formulated to ensure accessibility at all levels.
- Safe Education- To prevent dropouts at secondary stages and at other levels, better infrastructures supporting a safe and school environment will be built.
- Tracking Learning Levels and Adult Literacy– Counsellors and well-trained teachers will be deployed to connect schools/teachers to students/parents. Efforts will be made to garner the young minds by including mentors to tutor students regarding adult literacy and enrichment programmes will be run in all schools.
It is well understood that in accordance with the new guidelines framed by the Ministry of Education, students at levels will be empowered. These modules are innovative and intend to expose students to better life opportunities as we progress towards the new education system in India.