The Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, will answer to queries received so far related to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The minister will be resolving questions received on NEP so far and debunking any myths or misconceptions related to it. Pokhriyal had via social media handles invited questions on the policy in August and anyone could ask questions with the hashtag #NEPTransformingIndia.
The new policy which was part of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s one of the promises under the election manifesto for elections of 2014. It replaces a 34-year-old policy and offers a complete revamp of the existing education system. It offers reforms for school-level education, higher education, teacher recruitment, and special education. For the first time, the ministry will incorporate early childhood education into the mainstream education system.
Foreign universities and colleges will be allowed to set-up branches in India as well as Indian colleges are allowed to set-up campuses abroad. Multy options to enter and exit a degree at the college level and no watertight boundaries of subjects in schools and revamping the existing 10+2 school system into 5+3+3+4 modules are among the key changes introduced.
The NEP also suggests teaching in the mother tongue as far as possible to students. This had given rise to debate where one section of stakeholders said that not learning English will put children in a disadvantageous position. Answering these queries, Pokhriyal has already said that no student will be pushed towards any language and they will be free to learn any language including English and other foreign languages. He said, “One expresses best in her own mother tongue, and that’s why we have said the mother tongue will be the medium for primary education till Class 5.”
A panel set-up by the West Bengal government to study NEP highlighted that the NEP cannot be applied to the entire country claiming certain aspects of the policy “lack clarity”. Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP in Rajya Sabha has also called NEP “backward-looking document’’ claiming it misses key issues related to economically and socially backward groups.
For implementing this nation-wide policy, several national-level meetings and workshops have been held. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the stakeholders to come together to ensure the policy is implemented by 2022 during one of the pan-nation conferences called Shiksha Parv or education festival. The ministry has invited suggestions from stakeholders on the implementation of the policy and claims to have received over 1.5 lakh suggestions so far.
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