Historic change in the Indian Education policy after 34 years (New National Education policy)

A historic decision was made by the Indian Cabinet on 29th July 2020 by launching a “New National Education Policy” for India. This change in the ongoing Education policy has come after 34 years and a lot of changes and additions are made to it. Draw

The Union Cabinet after its aapproval of the New Education policy has introduced several new structures introducing 4 year undergraduate degree and multiple entry and exit options. The M.Phil degree has been discontinued and establishment of higher education regulator with fee fixation structure of both private and public institutions. The new policy also looking forward to introduce universalisation of early childhood education from ages 3 to 6 from 2030. Along with a complete new coding curriculum and vocational education from class 6 onwards. A mandatory mother tongue medium of instructions will be provided to children until class 5.

The 10+2 format of Education has been discontinued by the New Education policy and introduction of 5+3+3+4 system of Education. A foundation to secondary stage transition approach is undertaken and the new policy aims in transforming the current 10+2 structure. However, the actual system would not change in terms of three years a child spends within the formal education system within the country at school level. The play schools will remain within the ambit of formal education in the country.

For the new 5+3+3+4 system of Education there are many new innovative methods and guidelines laid down by the New Education Policy.

There are four stages namely

1.Foundational stage

2 .Preparatory stage

3. Middle stage

4. Secondary stage

These stages are divided into 5+3+3+4 Educational system. Exposing the stages will give you a much better perspective about the NEP.

The new National Education Policy approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday will introduce four-year undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options, abolish the M.Phil. degree, and establish a common higher education regulator with fee fixation for both private and public institutions. It also envisions universalisation of early childhood education from ages 3 to 6 by 2030, a new school curriculum with coding and vocational studies from Class 6, and a child’s mother tongue being used as the medium of instruction till Class 5.

One of the key announcements of the new National Education Policy, NEP 2020 has been the break-down of the existing 10+2 structure and introduction of the 5+3+3+4 structure of School Education. The policy aims at transforming circular and pedagogical structure from the existing 10 years + 2 years to a more inclusive foundational to secondary stage transition.

While the actual system would not change, in terms of the years a child spends within the formal education system in the country at school level, the new structure brings into fold the already existing play schools within the ambit of ‘formal education’.

The 5+3+3+4 structure corresponds to the following:

Foundational Stage : The Foundation stage has been formulated for ages 3 to 8 years and the multi-level play activity based learning would include 3 years at anganwadi’s, pre-school or as commonly called play schools and the kindergarten classes catering to ages 3 to 6. To this, the grades 1 and 2 or classes 1 and 2 for students of ages 6 to 8 would also be added, keeping the focus on development of language skills and teaching by play based and activity based curriculum.

Preparatory Stage : This stage focusses the age groups of 8 to 11 or classes 3 to 5. The focus would shift to play, discovery and activity based and interaction classroom learning. The focus till this stage would remain on development of language and numeracy skills, in accordance with the cognitive development. The development of instruction till Grade 5 would be home language or mother tongue or local language. Three languages would be taught to all students – and states would decide which ones.

Middle Stage : Students from classes 6 to 8, a new structure aims at transforming the pedagogy from the existing system to a more experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences and humanities. Focus would be on critical learning objectives and not on rote learning.

Secondary Stage : This stage would include students from classes 9 to 12 or the secondary and the higher secondary. The changes suggested at this stage include a multidisciplinary study which focuses on students to be able to pick and choose any set of subjects from the available structure. The focus would be on greater critical thinking and flexibility, allowing the child to pick subjects as per their interests – even technical and arts.

The bachelors’ degree program has a different layout plan which has a stage wise distribution of the 3 to 4 year bachelor’s degree. A student would now have the option of multiple exit options – study for 1 year, 2 year, 3 year or 4 year. According to the same, the student would be offered a Diploma for 1 year education, Advanced Diploma for 2 year education, Bachelor’s degree for 3 year course and 4 year course.

With this multi-disciplinary approach, most of the bachelor’s degree would aim at becoming a 4-year programme with the fourth year adding to the ‘degree with research’.  ‘The 4-year Bachelor’s programme with multi-disciplinary education, however, shall be the preferred option since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic and multi-disciplinary education with focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choice of the student.’



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