On 29th July, National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 first anniversary was celebrated by PM Narendra Modi in his address to the nation. The New Education Policy aims to help recruit the very best and brightest to enter the teaching profession at all levels, by ensuring teachers their livelihood, respect, dignity, and autonomy, while also installing in the system basic methods of quality control and accountability. NEP assures rigorous recruitment and preparation, continuous professional development, positive working environments, and service conditions for the teachers and faculty as they are the heart of the learning process.
The National Education Policy, 2020 is the third in the series of National Education Policies (1968 and 1986 modified in 1992) in India and is the first education policy of the 21st century. NEP 2020 covers a wider spectrum of school education from pre-primary to senior secondary.
NEP is national, international, impactful, interactive, innovative, and inclusive and is based on firm foundations of equity, quality, and accessibility.
Features of NEP 2020:
- Imparting vocational education from class 6 onwards,
- Progress Card in place of a report card,
- 5+3+3+4 structure,
- Multidisciplinary Education with easy entry/exit options and academic bank of credit.
- Several countries have acknowledged NEP as the biggest reform of the world.
In pursuance of the goals and objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 issued on 29th July 2020 and to assist States and UTs in this task, the Department of School Education and Literacy has developed an indicative and suggestive Implementation Plan for School Education, called ‘Students’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement through Quality Education (SARTHAQ)’. This implementation plan was released today by the Education Minister Shri Ramesh PokhriyalNishank also as a part of the celebrations leading to the AmritMahotsav on 75 years of Indian independence.
A number of action points/activities for implementation in school education as well as higher education are mentioned in the National Education Policy 2020 which inter-alia include the following:-
- Ensuring Universal Access at All Levels of schooling from pre-primary school to Grade 12;
- Ensuring quality early childhood care and education for all children between 3-6 years;
- Introducing New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure (5+3+3+4);
- Ensuring no hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams;
- Establishing National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy;
- Emphasis on promoting multilingualism and Indian languages; The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language.
- Assessment reforms – Introducing Board Exams on up to two occasions during any given school year, one main examination and one for improvement, if desired;
- Setting up of a new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development);
- Equitable and inclusive education – Ensuring special emphasis to be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs);
- Establishing a separate Gender Inclusion fund and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups;
- Robust and transparent processes for recruitment of teachers and merit-based performance;
- Ensuring availability of all resources through school complexes and clusters.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has recommended introducing contemporary subjects like Artificial Intelligence in curriculum, at relevant stages. The National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) has initiated the process for the preparation of a new National Curriculum Framework for School Education in pursuance of the NEP, 2020 during which the possibility of introducing an introductory course on Artificial Intelligence (AI) at secondary level would also be explored. Meanwhile, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced Artificial Intelligence as a subject in class IX from session 2019-2020 and in Class-XI from session 2020-2021 in their affiliated schools.
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