National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 – Bright future for India?

It’s a massive update to India’s education policy. The last time a new education policy was brought into effect was back in 1986 before India’s economy was liberalised. That’s the broad framework on which our current education system rests on.

The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has been five years in the making. It went through multiple drafts before the cabinet approved it on 29th August 2020. It seems that it has left the country divided on various fronts but the most talked about aspect is the medium of instruction, which we have discussed at length in the POPS IN A POD podcast

The NEP 2020 seems like a robust document and they have said all the right things but we will only be able to tell if it worked once it has been implemented in the year 2030. Yep! we have to wait for another 10 years for it to come into effect.

There are many fascinating points in the 60 odd page draft. Peter Kotikalapudi and Nadir Kanthawala have hand picked a few interesting ones 

The fundamental principles discussed at length on the POPS IN A POD episode:

  1. The most crucial and important one is the medium of instruction in home/state/local language apart from English only
  2. Recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student
  3. No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. in
  4. The change from the current 10+2 system to a 5+3+3+4 system
  5. Emphasis on conceptual understanding rather than rote learning and learning-for-exams
  6. Creativity and critical thinking to encourage logical decision-making and innovation; ethics and human & Constitutional values like empathy, respect for others, cleanliness, courtesy, democratic spirit, spirit of service
  7. Extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for Divyang students, and educational planning and management;
  8. Life skills such as communication, cooperation, teamwork, and resilience
  9. A pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) of under 30:1 will be ensured at the level of each school; areas having large numbers of socio-economically disadvantaged students will aim for a PTR of under 25:1.
  10. Educators to significantly reduce the weight of school bags and textbooks.
  11. Discourage dropouts

Peter and Nadir have a though-provoking discussion on the above pointers but they also tried to answer some basic questions through the lens of a parent

  1. Do you think this will affect us as parents considering we have toddlers at our homes?
  2. Do you think that this will lead to our kids will not having the stress and anxiety of exams?
  3. Will this put less pressure on us for our kids to perform? Will we still chase marks because clearly the policy has completely watered it down
  4. What about extra classes? Music, arts, sports, etc. Do you think these gaps will be filled with the new regime?
  5. Do we have something to look forward to? There is a lot of effort that has gone into it

You can read the document yourself by going on this link – https://www.mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English.pdf 

If you have a story or an opinion on the National Policy of Education 2020 then please do write to us on popsinapod@gmail.com . We would also be happy to receive your feedback and suggestions on the podcast.

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