10+2 system to go, flexible degree plan coming

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 29, 2020 Published on July 29, 2020

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Board exams to test core competence; single regulator for higher education planned

After 34 years, the country is set to adopt a new National Education Policy (NEP), heralding large-scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors, with the Union Cabinet on Wednesday giving its assent to the policy.

“This is the first education policy of the 21 century and replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” read an official statement. However, according to education experts, the key will be in the implementation.

After the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I wholeheartedly welcome the approval of the National Education Policy 2020. This was a long due and much awaited reform in the education sector, which will transform millions of lives in the times to come. Framing of NEP 2020 will be remembered as a shining example of participative governance...”

In June 2017, a Committee for the Draft National Education Policy was constituted under the chairmanship of eminent scientist K Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Human Resource Development Minister on May 31, 2019.

According to NEP 2020, board exams for Classes X and XII will be made easier by redesigning them with the aim of ensuring holistic development of students. Boards will test primarily core capacities/competencies rather than months of coaching and memorisation.



New schooling structure

The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognised globally as the crucial stage for the development of the mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of anganwadi/pre-schooling.

The policy emphasises mother tongue/local/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Class V, but preferably till Class VIII. Sanskrit is proposed to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option, including in the three-language formula.

The report card will be a comprehensive report on skills and capabilities instead of just marks. The new policy sees every child coming out of school adept in at least one skill.

Flexible under-grad plan

In higher education, the policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic undergraduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, and integration of vocational education. Undergraduate education can be for three-four years with multiple exit options and appropriate certifications within this period — for example, a certificate after the completion of one-year, an advanced diploma after two years, a bachelor’s degree after three years and bachelor’s with research after four years.

Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities, at par with IITs and IIMs, are to be set up.

A Higher Education Commission of India will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. It will have four independent verticals — National Higher Education Regulatory Council for regulation, General Education Council for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council for funding, and National Accreditation Council for accreditation.

A comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education, in consultation with the NCERT. By 2030, the minimum qualification for teaching will be a four-year integrated B.Ed. degree.


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Published on July 29, 2020
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