The Education Ministry unveiled India’s groundbreaking new education policy. In this blog, we will analyse the positives and negatives of this policy. We will discuss about –
- 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.
- The criticism of the NEP 2020 like the new language policy where regional language is to be used as the language of instruction
- Union HRD Ministry now to be called as Ministry of Education.
Benefits Of India’s New Education Policy 2020 (NEP)
- One of the first and major points of criticism was that our educational system tries to fit the students into three categories after class 10th i.e Science, Commerce And Humanities and this was a serious issue for example – if you chose one stream, than you cannot study the subjects of the other streams.
But more often than not, the students are interested in a variety of subjects. for example – when i was in 11th std, I chose Science stream but my interest also lay in Political Science and Economics but I was helpless, having opted for the science stream, I could not study subjects like Political Science and Economics , what could have I done? But now the government of India has changes this. Now the students have more flexibility to choose their subjects that means upon the implementation of this policy a student can study Political Science with Physics and Chemistry with History. A student can study Science, Commerce as well as Arts Subjects.
This is an amazing initiative, and now I feel jealous as a 90s kid we were compelled to choose among the three, but also glad that their future is in better hands now.Now students would have so much more flexibility to choose
- A second major change by the government of India is that they have replaced the existing 10+2 academic structure with 5+3+3+4 system now. Now , it has been similar to the education system of the western development countries .
The 10 + 2 education system began from the age group of 6 , now in this new education system of India education system will start at the age of 3 . Preschool would be from the age of 3-6 years and then class 1 and 2 for the next 2 years then would be the “prep stage” for the next 3 years in which focus would be upon playing, discovery and activity based classroom learning then class 6th and 9th would be the middle stage in which focus will be on factual learning – – Science, Mathematics, Arts, Social Science and Humanities next would be the secondary stage of class 9th to 12th std the focus will be on versatile studies, students will be provided with more flexibility and more choices for example – the job of sales, working in a supermarket, driving, plumbing, carpentry, gardening etc.. all the jobs like these that do not come under the proper purview of engineering, humanities or universities, all that is viewed on the extra side will have a vocational training to a great extent.
A vast difference is that in India, we view these jobs at a very low level, we look at things and presume that the people of the lower class do these kinds of jobs and normally our parents poke fun and say that if you don’t study ” you will do carpentry and become a carpenter or a plumber”. The difference is that these jobs are given the same respect in Germany. Vocational training is given a lot of importance in developed countries, jobs like welding, electrician, carpentry, plumbing these all jobs are viewed at the same level as the rest of the skilled jobs but in India, these jobs are looked at with disdain which is a mindset that need to change.
The government of India has implemented some structural changes to change this mindset, which is actually praiseworthy for example from class 6th students will have to do internships in vocational training jobs. The students would be imparted experience in such jobs, there would be a bag less period of 10 days where the students would take no bags to school but they will experience jobs like – carpentry, welding, gardening etc… Vocational training in schools would be focused upon even later. This is a very critical thing without which we cannot become a developed country until and unless these changes are implemented. The government has fortunately taken a step in the right direction. Coding would be taught to children from 6th std and the importance accorded to board exams in class 10th and 12th would be reduced.
- Another interesting and positive policy change is that the report cards handed to students at the yearend will be based on the assessment of not only teachers but the students will also self evaluate themselves and also the other classmates will evaluate.
This is a very useful step because critical thinking is a very important aspect to evaluate oneself by oneself to think about what one is doing and critically analyze one’s own decisions and in the coming life of a student when the school gets over, college gets over there is no one to tell you how your performance is going at that time you have to evaluate of how you are performing in life and what you want to do ahead in life.
So this thinking should be implemented at an early stage to the students to evaluate oneself and to see what others think about you and to see what others think about you and what your evaluations is, from their perspective which is very useful.
- Another important change, the government of India has decided that at least 6% of the GDP will be spent on education of India , currently it is around 3% which is insufficient and compared to the developed countries and the rest of the developing countries.India spends very less on education in measure of the percentage of the GDP but now spending 6% of GDP is a good target but a lot depends on implementation as well as how soon is the government of India able to achieve it but obviously as a first step, setting a target of 6% is commendable.
- There was a problem of rote learning in the Indian education system . Most of the exams are designed in a way that we need to memorize things and all that we learnt, evaporates in a few months because we gave exams by rote learning. So, the government of India has also said that it would try and change this as well. The exams form new education policy would be designer in a way that would not require much rote learning but how exactly this will be achieved is not clearly mentioned, hopefully that positive changes will be implemented here as well.
- After Class 12th changes – Talking about class 12th there is multiple entry and exit programme for example – You started a B Tech degree and one year later, you realize that you do not want to continue with it because you don’t like it, so as per the new education policy you can drop midway and all the subjects that you have studied for one year you can take their credits and get it transferred to another degree, this is again very extremely useful and already exists in most of the developed countries and its great that this option will be available in India as well.
This option will includes another feature – say the degree is of four years and if you drop out after one year then you will get a certificate, if you drop out from second year then you will get a diploma and after three years, you will get a bachelors degree and after four years a bachelor research degree.
If you have already done a four year degree in bachelors than MA and MSC degree will be of one year and two years if you have done three year degree in bachelors , this is again same with the international standard.
Top 100 foreign institutes have been given permission to set up their campus within India. It is being aimed that by 2025, 50% of the learners in schools and higher educational institutions will have exposure to vocational education.
A common national professional standard will be set for all the teachers by 2022 and by 2030 a four year BA degree would be the minimum education required to become a teacher.
so this were some benefits of new education policy in India, let us now know about the criticism points.
Criticism Of New Educational Policy 2020 (NEP)
- The new policy has been criticized most on the point of language, the policy reads that ” wherever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and preferably till 8th grade and beyond will be the home language, local language or the regional language” that means the education of the child until 5th grade should be in home language, mother language or regional language, it is nowhere written that doing so is compulsory but those who criticize it say that they will force schools to not to teach in English and instead in regional language which will not be beneficial for majority of people.
- Several student and teachers bodies have criticized the policy of being anti democratic, some parties have also criticized it. They allege that the state governments were not consulted before making this policy, since school education and higher education is a concurrent subject that comes under both the Centre as well as the State list, the states should have been consulted more before introducing this policy. It is also alleged that this policy promotes centralization because this policy has a point that mention that new teachers training board will be set up for all kinds of teachers in the country and no state can change that.
- Some point of criticism said that this policy is very theoretical, it does change things theoretically but to implement them practically in real life is going to be a very long and difficult process because there are so many government schools in India where children in the 5th class has no teachers and sound infrastructure is not available in school.