Dr. Richa Singh
V.I.E.T., G.B. Nagar
The National Policy on Education 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population. For this, the MHRD followed “an unprecedented collaborative, multi stakeholder, multi-pronged, bottom-up people-centric, inclusive, “participatory consultation process. The extensive consultations undertaken across multiple levels of online, expert and thematic and from the grassroots ranging from village, Block, Urban Local bodies, District, state, Zonal and the National Level, provided an opportunity to every citizen to engage in this massive exercise. Several in-person and in-depth deliberations across a wide spectrum of stakeholders were held.”1 Subsequently, a ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Educations Policy under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary, was constituted, which submitted its report in May 2016’. Based on this report, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’.
Union Government, on June 26, 2017 formed another committee, under the chairmanship of space scientist K. Kasturirangan, “To come up with the blue print for a new education policy. The committee Led by the Chairman Dr. Kasturirangan submitted on May 31, 2019the Draft National Educational Policy to the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of State for HRD, Shri Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre in New Delhi. Key observations”2 and recommendations of the committee on School education are the following:
In School Education, “a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure with early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education is preposed.”3
Right to Education Act 2009 should be extended to cover children of ages 3 to 18. A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional
developmental stages of children:
Foundation Stage (age 3-8 years):
3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2;
Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5;
Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8; and
Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12
Schools will be re-organized into school complexes.
It also seeks to reduce content load in school education curriculum. There will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc. will be curricular.
It promotes active pedagogy that will focus on the development of core capacities and life skills, including 21st century skills.
Exposure to three or more languages in schools: To leverage the enhanced language learning abilities of young children, all students from preschool and Grade I onwards will be exposed to three or more languages with the aim of developing speaking proficiency and interaction, and the ability to recognize scripts and read basic text, in all three languages by Grade 3. In terms of writing, students will begin writing primarily in the medium of instruction until Grade 3, after which writing with additional scripts will also be introduced gradually.
Language is a key focus of the policy which strongly recommends making the mother tongue he mode of instruction at least until class five and preferably till at least class eight. It says Sanskrit be offered at all levels of school and higher education as one of the optional languages on par with all schedule 8 languages. All students will be asked to take at least two years of a classical language of India in classes 6-8, with the option to continue through secondary education and university.
Reforming the 10+2 system, replacing ‘high stakes’ Class 10 and 12 exams with subject wise ‘modular’ assessments anytime between classes 9 and 12, ‘ census’ examinations for classes 3, 5 and 8 to track progress throughout the school experience and deregulating higher education to allow students to opt for courses, exit them mid-way and resume them at fully autonomous public and private institutes.
Mandatory one ear course on ethical and moral reasoning for grade 6-8, a current affairs course for grades 9-12, one period for grades 7-8 on critical issues like climate change, sanitation, water, gender quality, social justice etc.
The Committee proposes for massive transformation in Teacher Education by shutting down substandard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation/education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges. The 4-year integrated stage specific B.Ed. programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
In higher education “a restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions is proposed.”4
Type1: Focused on world class research and high quality teaching;
Type 2 : Focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research;
Type 3: High quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.
This will be driven by two missions:
Mission Nalanda: At least 100 research focused Universities and 500 high class universities should be set up by 2030.
Mission Takshashila : At least I high quality residential institute in or close to each district should be set up.
There will be re-structuring of Undergraduate programs (e.g., B.Sc., B.A., B.Com., B.Voc) of 3 or 4 years duration and having multiple exit and entry potions.
Legislation to allow select foreign universities (top 200 global universities) to operate in India
All institutions-Public and private-will be allowed to award degrees irrespective of word university in their name or not.
Minority Focus: Special education zones and high quality schools planned in areas with Muslim population besides modern curricula to supplement madarsaa education.
A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions, and programmatic interventions, and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and States. The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating an strong research culture and building a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
The four functions of Standard setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies: National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as the only regulator for all higher education including professional education; Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC; Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC). The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.
Promotion of Indian and Classical Languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pail, Persian and Prakrit and an Indian Institute or Translation and inter pretention (IITI) has been recommended.
Amid massive outcry over Hindi being made a compulsory language in all non-Hindi speaking state, the HRD ministry has climbed down and tweaked the draft national education Policy, 2019 to say that students are free to choose any language they wish. The revised draft says, ” In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three language. Now, there is no mention of Hindi in the “Flexibility in the three language formula” clause. It is to be worth mentioning here that majority of the politicians from Tamil Nadu opposed the three language formula. They alleged that it was an attempt to impose Hindi on non Hindi speaking population. However, government denied any such attempt.
The path breaking reforms recommended will “bring about a paradigm shift by equipping our students, teachers and educational institutions with the right competencies and capabilities and also create an enabling and reinvigorated educational eco-system for a vibrant new India.”5 The draft national education policy, 2019 is out in the Public domain.
1. Madhulika Singh, Draft New Education policy 2019, Prtiyogita Darpan, Agra July 2019.
2. Draft National Education Policy 2019, check details, updates, http://m.jagranjosh.com.
3. Draft National Education Policy, Here’s what top educationist think, http:// digitallearning.eletronline.com
4. Draft National Education Policy 2019- UGC, https://www.ugc.ac.in
5. P.R. Sindia, Draft National Education Policy 2019, https://www.prsindia.org
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