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Higher Education to Witness Major Changes with New Education Policy 2020


Higher Education in India is on the brink of a phenomenal transformation. The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will touch the lives of nearly 4 crore students, enrolled in more than fifty thousand institutions across the country that have a 26.3 gross enrolment ratio (GER). 

(Source: Financial Express)

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The NEP 2020 brings in a lease of freshness and innovation in the country’s education system, as a first-step towards reformation after 34 years! Currently, 91 lakh students graduate each year, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19 reports.  The NEP 2020 aims at driving the country’s GER to 50 by the year 2035, coupled with the creation of at least one large multi-disciplinary institution in or near every district by the year 2030.

Let us take a look at the key aspects of the New Education Policy 2020

School Education

    • Testing of actual knowledge instead of rote learning
    • Board exams to be low stakes, 5+3+3+4 structure
    • Regional language to be medium of instruction till 5th grade
    • Emphasis on skills and capabilities in report cards along with marks
    • Increased focus on basic numeracy and literacy
    • Pedagogical structure of curriculum to be transformed
    • Separation between streams, academic, vocational, curricular and extra-curricular to be shelved

Higher Education

    • Flexibility in choosing subjects
    • Credit system with options to transfer and accumulate
    • Multiple entry/exit
    • 3-4 years of UG, 1-2 years of PG, integrated 5 years Bachelors/Masters
    • Increasing GER to 50 by 2035
    • Internationalization: encouraging top Indian institutes to start campuses globally
    • Inviting top-tier global organizations to India

Across both school-level and higher education, the policy places high emphasis on use of technology, formulation of new curriculum, regular updation of syllabus, more public spending on education, and a single regulatory structure for education.  

Here are some quick answers to key questions about the NEP 2020:

Q: What will happen to the 10+2 schooling system?

A: The 10+2 Indian schooling system will give way to a four-tiered structure 5+3+3+4, spreading across 15 years instead of 12.

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    • Children between the ages 3 to 6 will learn under preschool and anganwadi for three years, and grade 1-2 for the next two. This constitutes the first 5 years of education.
    • In the next tier of education, grades 3-5th are designed. The medium of instruction up to this level is recommended to be carried out in the prevalent regional language or mother tongue of the learner.
    • In the third tier, starting from grades 6th onto grade 8th, vocational training pertaining to local trade and crafts will be introduced and encouraged.
    • Gifted children will be given special care.
    • State board standards will be established by a national assessment centre called PARAKH.
    • Learners will be encouraged to choose subjects; meanwhile no subject will be defined within specific stream like Science, Commerce, or Arts. Students will be able to choose between multidisciplinary subjects.

Q. How will students be evaluated by the school?

A: The typical report cards will be revolutionized by the NEP 2020. In addition to teacher’s assessment, there will be self-evaluation as well as peer evaluation. The three-pronged approach of evaluation will seek to empower students with at least one core skill by the time a student completes grade 12.

Q: What will happen to board exams?

A: The board exams will continue for the current academic year. However, the exams will be divided into two modules annually. The students will be give the exams based on subject modules.  However, the weightage given to board exams will be considerably less.

Q: How are the UG and PG programs affected by the NEP 2020?

A: The UG and PG programs will undergo some reformation under the new education policy NEP 2020. These are the salient features under the new structure-

    • Multiple entry and exit options
    • 3 or 4 years of UG depending on career path
    • Certificate after 1 year of UG, advanced diploma after 2 years, Bacherlor’s degree after 3 years, and Bachelor’s with research after 4 years of UG
    • Introduction of Academic Bank of Credit
    • Credits can be accumulated and transferred between institutes
    • PG stream to be of 1 or 2 years of duration
    • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) to be discontinued
    • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Institutes (MERUs), at par with IITs and IIMs  to be set up in or near every district

Q: How will higher education institutes be administered?

A: All the higher education streams will be regulated under a single body except legal and medicine. All the existing regulatory bodies will be merged. Higher education institutes will have graded autonomy. Based on the academic, administrative and financial aspects, the institutes will be awarded grading or accreditation. Fees for both public and private educational institutes will be governed under common norms.

A final word on NEP 2020

The open schooling system will bring 2 crore school students into mainstream.

Foundational literacy, numeracy, and core concepts will be emphasized under the new curriculum.

Set-up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantageous groups and regions will be focussed on under NEP 2020. 

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About Manmita G

Manmita Gondhali is a content developer, closet poet, bathroom pop-singer, and a fierce animal lover. When not chasing street cats and trying to pet them, you will find her lounging with a book in one hand and a freshly brewed coffee in another. Or going grammar Nazi on any and every content she finds. She cannot draw to save her life, but is recently hooked to doodling. She hopes to own a cottage in the mountains with at least 5 dogs and 13 cats by the time she stops working full-time.

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