New Education Policy 2020: Missing Wood & Implementation Issues.

AuthorDhameja, Nand Lal


A nation, according to Swami Vivekananda, is advanced in proportion to the education and intelligence spread among the masses. Through education comes faith in one's self. The education which does not help the common mass to equip themselves for the struggle of life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and courage of a lion-it is not worth its name. Real education is that which enables one to become self reliant. India is known for its education system and was considered an educationally most advanced country of the world in making contribution in the development of man's knowledge and culture. Various committees and commissions had been appointed for laying down the education policy in line with the changing times. Government recently has approved Education Policy 2020 laying down its salient features. The present paper discusses the salient features of the Education Policy 2020 and also a brief review of earlier commissions and committees.

Consequent to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by India in 2015, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030, the Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) aims to pave the way for transformation reforms in school and higher education in India. It contains observations as:

* Rapid changes in the knowledge would lead to increasing demand for skilled workforce, particularly involving mathematics, computer science and data science having multi disciplinary abilities in areas like, sciences, social sciences and humanities.

* Children should not only learn, but more 'importantly learn how to learn,' how to think critically and solve problems, how to be creative and multidisciplinary, how to innovate, adopt and absorb new material in novel and changing fields.

* Education must be based on the principle, that it not only develops 'cognitive capacities'--'fundamental capacities' and capacities of critical thinking and problem solving'--but also social, ethical and emotional capacities and disposition.

* Teacher must be at the centre of fundamental reforms, must be a respected essential member of the society, best and brightest be recruited and be ensured livelihood, respect, dignity and autonomy.

* A good education institution is one in which every student feels welcomed and is cared for, where a safe and stimulating learning environment exists, where a wide range of learning experiences are offered, and where good physical infrastructure and appropriate resources conducive to learning are available to all students.

* The policy aims to increase government spending -both by states and the union government- on education to 6 percent of the GDP, against the current spending of 4.43 percent; to achieve 100 percent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in School education by 2030, and to 50 percent GER for higher education by 2035.

The NEP 2020 replaces the 34 year old Policy of 1986, modified in 1992; is spread over 27 chapters and is remarkable for three main reasons;

* The policy reflects, in depth, on school education covering crucial aspects like, child care & education, curriculum & pedagogy, teachers' recruitment & deployment, governance, regulation accreditation of schools

* Discusses in detail, aspects relating to faculties, teaching, governance in state-level universities and colleges where the majority of students' study.

* The policy reviews and recommends changes at all levels of education, from early childhood to university level covering regulation, setting standard, accreditation, and funding.

NEP 2020:Major Highlights

School Education:

* The current 10 + 2 system is replaced by a new 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 curriculum covering ages 3-18 years. NEP 2020 has Four phases as:

* Foundation Stage of first 5 years: It is a critical stage--first three ye ars for Anganwadi/Pre-schooling followed by--Primary Classes 1 and 2. In other words, a child will be admitted at the age of 3 year to have a strong base of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) which is aimed at promoting better overall learning, development, and well-being. It is recognised globally that over 85% of a child's cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6, indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in the early years in order to ensure healthy brain development and growth

* Preparatory Stage--classes 3-5 (age 9-11)

* Middle Stage--Classes 6-8 (age 12-14)

* Secondary Stage--classes 9-12 (age 15-18)

Thus, under the New Policy, a child will have twelve years of schooling plus three years of pre-schooling or Anganwadi

Main feature of the policy is that, there will be no rigid separation among 'curricular', 'extracurricular ', or 'co-curricular'; among 'arts', 'commerce, and 'sciences', or between 'vocational' or 'academic' streams. Students will be given increased flexibility and choice to study, particularly in secondary school including subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills --so that they can design their own paths of study; vocational education to start from class 6 with internships

Three languages learned by children will be of the choice of the state, regions and students; of these at least two languages are native to India i.e. mother tongue /regional tongue. No language will be imposed on any student.

Higher Education: Main features

The undergraduate education (UG) will be multi-disciplinary with flexible curricula, different combination of subjects and integrating vocational education. It will be of 3 or 4 years duration having multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. Similarly, post graduate programs will be of 1-2 years duration. In addition, there can be integrated 5 years bachelors/masters program. M Phil will be discontinued. There will be the facility of transfer of credits by having established Academic Bank of Credits.

Higher education must form the basis for knowledge creation and innovation, and development of an enlightened society thereby contributing to a growing national economy. The policy recognises major current problems and challenges faced by the higher education, which include less emphasis on development of cognitive skills and learning outcomes, a rigid separation of disciplines with early specialisation leading to narrow areas of study, limited teacher and institutional autonomy, lesser emphasis on research, suboptimal governance and leadership of HEIs, ineffective regulatory system, large affiliating universities resulting in low standards of undergraduate education.

Governance Issues

Higher education has been subjected to heavy regulation with little achievement. "The mechanistic and disempowering nature of the regulatory system has been rife with very basic problems, such as heavy concentration of power within a few bodies, conflicts of interest among these bodies, and a resulting lack of accountability. The regulatory system is in need of a complete overhaul in order to re-energize the higher education sector and enable it to thrive". The Policy recommends to have Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) as an umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medicinal and legal education. HECI will have following four independent verticals, same for...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT