Key points:

School education provisions

  • The new education policy proposes a 5- 3- 3- 4 as educational structure that covers children between 3 and 18 years of age.
  • Foundational Stage of five years – 3 years pre-primary school and grades 1, 2
  • Three Year Preparatory Stage – Grade 3, 4, 5
  • Middle (or upper primary) stage of three years – Grades 6, 7, 8 and
  • High (or secondary) stage of 4 years – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Under the NEP 2020, it is proposed to set up a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy. By this, basic skills will be ensured for children up to class-3 level by the year 2025.

Protection of linguistic diversity

  • NEP-2020 emphasizes the adoption of mother tongue/local or regional language as a medium of study in education up to class-5. Along with this, it has been suggested to give priority to mother tongue for class 8 and further education.
  • Students in school and higher education will have the option of Sanskrit and other ancient Indian languages, but no student will have any obligation to choose the language.

Physical education

  • Efforts will be made to provide gardening, regular sports, yoga, dance, martial arts to the students at all levels in the schools as per local availability so that the children can participate in physical activities and exercises etc.

Curriculum and assessment improvements

  • According to the proposed reforms in this policy, there will not be much difference between arts and sciences, vocational and academic subjects and curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
  • Vocational education will be included in the academic syllabus from class-6 and internship will be arranged in it.
  • The ‘National Curricular Framework for School Education’ will be prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training- NCERT.
  • Keeping in mind the overall development goal of the students, the examinations of class-10 and class-12 will be changed. This may include improvements such as summers or multiple choice questions etc. in the future.
  • A new ‘National Assessment Centre’ named ‘PARAKH’ will be set up as a standards-determining body for evaluating the progress of students.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence-AI software to evaluate the progress of the students and help the students to take decisions related to their future.

Education related reforms

  • Promotion based on effective and transparent procedure in appointment of teachers and performance assessment done from time to time.
  • The National Professional Standards for Teachers- NPST will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by the year 2022.
  • The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education-NCFTE will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education on the basis of consultation with NCERT.
  • Minimum degree qualification for teaching 4-year integrated B.Ed. Degree will be made mandatory by the year 2030.

Provisions related to higher education

  • Under the NEP-2020, it has been targeted to increase the ‘Gross Enrolment Ratio’ in higher educational institutions from 26.3% (year 2018) to 50%, along with 3.5 crore new institutions in higher educational institutions in the country. 
  • Multiple entry and exit arrangements have been adopted in the undergraduate curriculum under NEP-2020, under which students in the 3 or 4 year undergraduate program will be able to skip the course at multiple levels and will be awarded degrees or certificates corresponding to that (Certificate after 1 year, advanced diploma after 2 years, bachelor’s degree after 3 years and graduation with research after 4 years).
  • An ‘Academic Bank of Credit’ will be given to digitally protect the marks or credits received from various higher educational institutions, so that students can be awarded degrees based on their performance in different institutions.
  • Under the new education policy, (M.Phil) Program was terminated.

Commission of higher education of India

The new education policy (NEP) envisages a single regulator for higher education institutions across the country, namely the Higher Education Commission of India-HECI, which will have multiple verticals to fulfil various roles. The Higher Education Commission of India will act as a single body for the entire higher education sector except medical and legal education.

Four bodies for effective execution of the functions of HECI-

  1. National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC): It will act as a regulator for higher education sector including teacher education.
  2. General Education Council (GEC): This will create the framework of expected learning outcomes for higher education programs, that is, their standardization work.
  3. National Accreditation Council (NAC): It will undertake accreditation of institutions which will be mainly based on basic criteria, public self-disclosure, good governance and results.
  4. Higher Education Grants Council – HGFC: This body will undertake funding for colleges and universities.

‘Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities – MERU’ will be established in the country at par with global standards of IITs and IIMs.

Provision for children with disabilities

  • Under this new policy, cross-disability training for children with disabilities, resource centres, housing, assistive devices, the above mentioned technology based equipment, full support of teachers and ensuring regular participation in schooling process from elementary to higher education etc. enable the processes to be built.

Provisions related to digital education

  • “National Educational Technology Forum” will be formed as an autonomous body through which ideas can be exchanged for promotion in teaching, evaluation planning and administration.
  • A separate technology unit will be developed to develop digital education resources which will coordinate for digital infrastructure, content and capacity building.

Traditional knowledge related provisions

  • Indian knowledge systems, which will include tribal and indigenous knowledge, will be included in the curriculum in a precise and scientific manner.

Some Important points

  • Areas such as Aspirational districts where a large number of students facing economic, social or caste barriers are found will be designated as ‘Special Educational Zones’.
  • The Centre will set up a Gender Inclusion Fund to provide equal quality to all girls and transgender students for capacity building in the country.
  • Significantly, a national curriculum and educational framework for early childhood care and education for children up to the age of 8 years will be created by the NCRTE.

Financial help

  • Financial assistance will be provided as an incentive to the meritorious students belonging to SC, ST, OBC and other socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

Challenges related to new education policy

  • States cooperation: Education being a concurrent subject, most states have their own school boards, so the state governments will have to come forward for the actual implementation of this decision. Also, the idea of ​​bringing a National Higher Education Regulatory Council as the apex control organization can be opposed by the states.
  • Expensive Education: The new education policy paves the way for admission to foreign universities. Various academics believe that the admission of foreign universities is expected to make the Indian education system expensive. As a result, it can be challenging for lower class students to get higher education.
  • Sanskritization of education: It is alleged by the South Indian states that the government is trying to Sanskritise education with the ‘Tri-language’ formula.
  • Insufficient funding: Few regulations still exist in some states, but these regulatory procedures are unable to curb profiteering in the form of unlimited donations.
  • Financing: Ensuring funding will depend on how strong the will to spend the proposed 6% of GDP as public expenditure on education.

Lack of human resource: At present there is a lack of skilled teachers in the field of elementary education, so there are practical problems in the implementation of the system for elementary education under the National Education Policy, 2020.