The new National Education Policy (NEP) is the foundation of a 'new India', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, adding that the policy will help close the gap between education and research.
The Union Cabinet had recently cleared the NEP proposing sweeping changes in school and higher education. It is a comprehensive framework to guide the development of education in the country.
Addressing a conclave on transformational reforms in higher education under the National Education Policy', Modi said, "The New Education Policy is the foundation of the 21st century ‘new India'. It will give youth the education and skills they need and will help close the gap between education and research."
Emphasizing on the need for critical thinking, Modi said that the current education system focuses on 'what to think' but the new policy will focus on 'how to think'.
"There were no major changes in the education system in the past few years. It had caused a herd mentality in our society, instead of curiosity and imagination," he pointed out.
The Prime Minister also said that there is a need to lay emphasis on "inquiry-based, discovery-based, and analysis-based ways" to help children learn better.
"With changing times, a new global system has risen and hence it was essential for India to change its education system accordingly. Creating a 5+3+3+4 curriculum and replacing the 10+2 structure was a step in this direction," the Prime Minister added.
Alluding to the mother tongue as a mode of teaching, he said that there is a need to make students global citizens, but at the same time, they should also be connected to their roots.
"We have recommended teaching in mother tongue till at least class 5. The learning power of students is bound to improve if the language they speak in and the language in which lessons are taught are the same."
The Prime Minister also said that it is a matter of happiness that no section of the country has stated that the policy has any bias. "The National Education Policy is being discussed across the nation today. People from different fields and ideologies are giving their views and reviewing the policy. It is a healthy debate.".