<p class="p1">With an aim to make India a "global knowledge superpower," the Union Cabinet yesterday passed the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The policy aimed to introduce several changes in the education system from the school to college level, including, promoting primary education in local languages, facilitating the possible entry of foreign universities, easier board examination, creating a single higher-education regulator.</p>
<p class="p1">This is after 34 years that India's education policy was overhauled. The last change in education policy was announced in 1992, it was a rehash of 1986 education policy, said Prakash Javadekar, Information, and Broadcasting Minister in a joint press conference along with Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Human and Resource Development minister along with HRD secretaries Amit Khare and Anita Karwal.
"The policy aims at making India a global knowledge superpower," Javedkar said.
Amit Khare said that following the new education policy and reforms, the country will achieve a 50 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2035.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said: "It is important because there was no change in the education policy in the last 34 years."
Meanwhile, the Education Minister said that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been renamed the Ministry of Education.
During the briefing, Khare assured that public investment in the education sector will reach 6 per cent of GDP at the earliest. Currently, it is around 4.43 per cent.
Outcomes of the National Education Policy will be universalization of education from primary to secondary by 2030, attaining foundational learning and numeracy skills by 2025, 100 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2030, and two crore school children joining back.
It will also include the preparation of teachers for assessment reforms by 2023, an inclusive education system by 2030, board exams only to test core concepts, and instilling at least one vocational skill in every child.
The key highlights of the New Education Policy are the use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment, a single regulator for higher education, graded autonomy for colleges, and phasing out of the affiliation system in 15 years.
It also includes the formation of the National Research Foundation, internationalization of education and multiple entries and exit for students, and an academic bank of credit.
The major reforms in school education include universalization of early childhood care education, setting up of a national mission on foundational literacy and numeracy, 5+3+3+4 circular and pedological structure, and no rigid separation between arts and sciences.
Students will be taught coding from class 6, there will be vocational integration from class 6 as against from secondary level, and a gender inclusion fund for girl child development. Board examination will now be low stake and based on knowledge application.
The policy also mandates the medium of instruction till at least class 5 and preferably till class 8 and beyond in-home or regional language, and 360-degree holistic report card – by children, by classmates and teachers.
Besides this, PARAKH – Performance, Assessment, Review, and Analysis for Holistic Development – will form the standard, norm, and guidelines for the schools so that it reaches the benchmark. Schools will have transparent online systems for self-disclosure for public oversight and accountability.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a common entrance exam for admission to higher education institutes, and a National Professional Standard for teachers to be prepared by the NCERT and the NCTE.</p>.