July 30, 2020 7:12:52 pm
The new National Education Policy (NEP) has been unveiled by the Ministry of Education on July 30. The aspirational policy shares ideas to revamp education, teaching and assessment systems in schools, colleges as well as teacher’s professional-level training. Here is a list of key policy changes that have been announced and what it means for you:
School system: The 10+2 system will be divided into 5+3+3+4 format. The first five years of school will comprise of the foundation stage including three years of pre-primary school as well as classes 1 and 2. The next three years will be divided into a preparatory stage from classes 3 to 5 and following that, three years of middle stage (classes 6 to 8), and four years of secondary stage (classes 9 to 12). Co-curriculum and vocational subjects like sports, arts, commerce, science will be treated at the same level. Students can opt for courses as per their preference. Students will be allowed to take up coding from class 6 onward. Skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity will be taught in school.
Report cards: The report cards of students will be reviewed by peers and teachers. Artificial Intelligence-based software could be developed and used by students to help track their growth through their school years based on learning data and interactive questionnaires for parents, students, and teachers. To track progress, all students will take school examinations in grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
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Board exam: The class 10 and 12 exams — referred to as board exams — are likely to be held in two difficulty levels and students will be given a second chance at boards to improve their score. They will be free to take up courses regardless of the stream division of arts, commerce and science. “Student choice and best-of-two-attempts, assessments that primarily test core capacities must be the immediate key reforms to all board exams,” the NEP stated. A system of annual or semester or modular board exams could be developed to test far less material, and taken immediately after the corresponding course is taught in school so the pressure from exams is better distributed and less intense.
Language policy: The policy states, the medium of instruction until at least class 5 (and preferably till class 8) should be “home language or mother tongue or local/regional language”. Thereafter, the home or local language should continue to be taught as a language. Unlike the draft, the final policy gives the freedom to the state, region, and child to chose three languages to be learned. However, at least two of the three languages should be native Indian languages.
Common entrance exam for admissions: From school to colleges, it is advised that there should be a single gateway. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct a common entrance examination (CEE) for admissions to universities across the country. A common aptitude test, as well as specialised common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, and vocational subjects, will be held at least twice every year. It will allow “most universities to use these common entrance exams – rather than having hundreds of universities each devising their own entrance exams, thereby drastically reducing the burden on students, universities and colleges,” the NEP read. It will not be mandatory and will be left to individual universities and colleges to use NTA assessments for their admissions.
Exit point: “Graduate-level, master’s and doctoral education in large multidisciplinary universities, while providing rigorous research-based specialisation,” mentioned the NEP. The undergraduate degree will be of either three or four-year duration, with multiple exit options. Students will get a certificate after completing one year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, or a diploma after two years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a three-year programme. The four-year programme may also lead to a degree ‘with Research‟ if the student completes a rigorous research project in their major area(s) of study.
Foreign colleges: High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities, those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India. A legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.
India will be promoted as a global study destination providing premium education at affordable costs thereby helping to restore its role as a Vishwa Guru. An International Students Office at each HEI hosting foreign students will be set up to coordinate all matters relating to welcoming and supporting students arriving from abroad, as per the NEP.
Credit bank: An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognised HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned. Departments in languages, literature, music, philosophy, Indology, art, dance, theatre, education, mathematics, statistics, pure and applied sciences, etc. Credits will be given in all Bachelor’s Degree programmes for these subjects if they are done from such departments or through the ODL mode when they are not offered in-class at the HEI.
Educational technology: An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration and so on, both for school and higher education. One of the permanent tasks of the NETF will be to categorise emergent technologies based on their potential and estimated timeframe for disruption, and to periodically present this analysis to MHRD. Based on these inputs, MHRD will formally identify those technologies whose emergence demands responses from the education system. Content will be available in regional languages also.
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