The Education Ministry unveiled India’s groundbreaking new education policy. In this blog post, I analyse the positives and negatives of the New Education Policy. How the multiple streaming option, vocational training has been finally introduced for school students. The 10+2 academic system has been changed to 5+3+3+4 system. Board exams have been made easier and critical thinking skills and self evaluation have been imparted in the system. Let’s see how the New Education policy is the biggest step towards employment and development of the country
Introduction to the policy
The Education Policy first came in 1968 in Indira Gandhi government and the second in Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 which was modified in 1992 by P.V Narsimha Rao. The New Education Policy has been drafted by a committee headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Kasturirangan. The New Policy kept us waiting for 34 years but it could be said it is the most promising policy with a warm step towards development of the country.
Revolutionary changes brought in the New education Policy
1. Flexibility in Subjects
Our education system tries to fit students into three categories after class 10th i.e science, commerce and humanities and this is very problematic as if someone chooses a stream, he/she cannot study the subject of other streams. But more often students are interested in studying variety of subjects. Now, government has tried to change this, as now students will have the flexibility of choosing the subjects, for an example after implementation of this policy a student can study political science with physics and chemistry.
2. Academic Structure
The second major change by the government is that they replaced the existing 10+2 structure with 5+3+3+4 system which would be more similar to many developed countries.
In India, Vocational jobs are looked at with disdain which is a mindset that needs to change. Government has formulated some structural changes to change this mindset, which is praiseworthy. For an example right from class 6 students would have to do internship in vocational training jobs and would be imparted experience in such jobs. There would be bagless period of 10 days where students would not take bags to school but experience such jobs like carpentry, plumbing, gardening etc.
This is a very critical thing which, in my opinion, to be a developed country these are necessary changes that should be implemented. Fortunately our government has taken step in right direction regarding this.
4. Coding would be taught from class 6 and importance accorded to board exams in class 10 and 12 would be reduced.
5. Another interesting policy change is that the report cards handed to students at the year end will be changed in its assessment process i.e the assessment will be done not only teachers but the students will also self evaluate themselves and say how have they performed in entire year, according to their perspective. This is an important step because critical thinking is very important aspect to evaluate oneself.
6. Our government finally paid head to amount of money sized for education purposes. Government decided that at least 6% of GDP will now be spent on education which currently is 3%. India spends very less on education in measure of percentage of GDP. But, as first step a target of 6 % is commendable.
7. There is problem of rote (ratta) learning in Indian Education system. As, most of the exams are designed in a way that we need to memorize things which evaporates after examinations . Government designed a way that would not require much memorization or rote learning. But how exactly this will be achieved is not clearly mentioned.
8. AFTER CLASS 12th
Talking about class 12 there is a multiple entry and exit programme. It means that if you started a degree for an example B-Tech degree and 1 year later if you do not want to continue with it you can drop midway. All the subjects that you have studied for 1 year, you can take their credits and get it transferred to another degree.This extremely useful and already exists in most of developed country and is widely adopted procedure.
This option now includes another feature that is if you drop after 1 year you will get a certificate; if after 2 years will get diploma , after 3 years will get bachelor’s degree and after 4 years will get a bachelor’s research degree.
9. MA and MSC courses will last just one year for those with 4 year graduate degree and 2 years for those with 3 years degree. It is important to note that M.phil will also be abolished.
10.Top 10 foreign institutes have been given permission to setup their campuses in India.
11. It’s aimed that by 2025, 50% of learner’s in school and higher educational institutions will have exposure to vocational traiings . A common National Professional Standards will be set for all teachers by 2022. A 4 year integrated BA degree would be minimum qualification required to be a teacher by 2030.
1. This new Education policy has been criticized the most on point of language as this policy reads “Wherever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and preferably till class 8th and beyond will be the home language or regional language” It is not written anywhere that it would be compulsory but those who criticize it contend that this will force schools not be beneficial for most of people migrating from one state to other.
Several students and teachers criticized this policy of being anti-democratic. Some of the political parties also criticized contending that the state was not asked before bringing such policy. Since, education is in concurrent list and both state and union have the power to make laws in it, they also alleges that it promotes centralization as the policy states that a new Teacher’s Training Board will be set up for all kinds of teachers in country and no states can change that.
3. And finally, some points of criticism said that this policy is more of a theoretical and to implement them in real life is a very long and hard process, because of less number of teachers in our country and low infrastructure.
If the New Education policy is implemented smoothly and then delivers what it aims at, it will be miraculous for India. But for now, we can also not deny that implementation is the toughest part, and its success depends on it completely. So, all we can do is wait for the implementation and hope for the best!