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Draft National Education Policy – ‘An Engine of Progress’

A few days back, the Draft National Education Policy 2019 was released which was prepared by a committee of 11 members and was headed by Chairman K. Kasturirangan. The main pillars of the draft NEP 2019 are Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. The policy is divided into four parts: School Education, Higher Education, Additional Key Focus Areas and Transforming Education. In this podcast episode of The Suno India Show, Padma Priya, editor, Suno India reached out to Meeta Sengupta, an education strategist and policy analyst to get more insights on the draft NEP. Meeta Sengupta works at the cusp of policy and practice across the education and skills spectrum.

The major key takeaways of the policy are –

  • By 2030, children will have access to safe, high quality, developmentally appropriate care and education, holistic development and the 21st-century skills will be encouraged and development of aesthetic sense, digital literacy, knowledge of India, knowledge of critical issues facing the community and the world in the school education.
  • The committee of the draft NEP 2019 has recommended for the extension of the Right To Education (RTE) Act in order to incorporate early childhood education.
  • Proposed to redesignate Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Education in order to highlight the focus on education and learning.
  • Proposal of a new 5+3+3+4 curriculum design focusing on 4 stages based on the children’s cognitive development.
  • Re-organization of schools to school complexes wherein school complex will be a cluster of public schools in a contiguous geography offering education across all stages – Foundational to Secondary.
  • “Flexible and modular board examination”: Introduction of semester system in the school education for students of higher secondary i.e. class 10th and 12th.
  • Creation of a special National Fund in order to provide scholarships and development of resources for the students belonging from the underrepresented groups.
  • The minimum degree required for teachers for all levels would be a stage-specific 4-year integrated Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme.
  • “Light but tight” regulation: Transformation of the regulatory system in order to have only one regulatory for all the higher education.
  • Professional education will be made an integral part of the higher education.
  • Proposal of a new architecture of higher education institutions, which is classified into three categories based on a difference in focus –

1. Research Universities which will focus on research and teaching.

2. Teaching Universities which will focus primarily on high quality teaching.

3. Colleges which will focus exclusively on high-quality teaching.

  • The undergraduate programs will be re-structured and will have multiple exit and entry options.
  • The committee has proposed an establishment of a constitutional body “Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog” whose chairperson would be the Prime Minister. And, it has also proposed the establishment of “National Higher Education Regulatory Authority” in order to have only one regulatory for higher education.
  • Establishment of Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation in order to promote all Indian languages

Apart from all these takeaways, the committee has also proposed policy initiatives to strengthen the quality of school and higher education, distance learning, eliminating any sort of discrimination based on gender, caste, etc in the education sector and encouraging the participation of students of the underrepresented groups as according to the NEP 2019 “Every student has innate talents, which must be discovered, nurtured, fostered, and developed.” Also, new national institutions will be set up in order to promote the Indian and classical languages and in order to vitalize the public education, there will be an increase in private investment.

Draft National Education Policy – ‘An Engine of Progress’

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