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Characteristic Reforms of the National Education Policy 2020

09 February,2021  |  By Brainwonders

In an effort to make education accessible, equitable, inclusive, the National Education Policy was introduced by the union cabinet in July 2020, replacing the National Education Policy 1986.

It focuses on universalisation of education and aims cent percent enrolment and equal access to education regardless of other extraneous factors. It provides a standardised framework from elementary education to higher education and incorporates vocational education and internships to the Indian education system.

The new introductions to the National Education Policy

1. Structure of School Education

The age group of students to be enrolled in schools is expanded from 6-14 to 3-18. The schooling begins at 3 years of age followed by 3 years pre-schooling and 12 Years of schooling. The existing 10+2 structure is replaced by 5+3+3+4. The age groups corresponding to these patterns are:

  • Foundational stage (5 Year Training):3-8-Year-old children
  • Preparatory Stage (3 Year Training): 8-11-Year-old Children
  • Middle Stage (3 Year Training): 11-14-Year-old Children
  • Secondary Stage (4 Year Training): 14-18-Year-old Children
2. Medium of Instruction

According to the National Education Policy, the medium of instruction for students until grade 5 must be restored into their mother tongue/ regional language/ local language. However, it is also provided that no language should be forced upon anyone.

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3. Flexibility in choosing subjects

The National Education Policy allows the students to choose various subjects across different streams. The strict guards for choosing the subjects have been lowered, which means students have the liberty to study economics along with biology.

4. Introduction of Vocational Education

In an effort to introduce the hands-on experience to students rather than fully boring theory classes, vocational education is introduced at an earlier phase of education. Post-NEP 2020 students can learn vocational skills as early as 6th grade. Internships are also included in NEP 2020.

5. Structured and Efficient Higher Education System

The Higher Education Council of India is guided to set up a comprehensive authority for the entire higher education except for the medical and legal education system. This implies that the same set of rules, regulations, accreditations and academic standards are applicable to every single higher education institute regardless of their management status. National Education Policy 2020 dismantled UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and is planning to remove all affiliations within 15 Years

6. Introduction of FYUP; Four Year Undergraduate Programme

The Four Year Undergraduate Programme is introduced along with the discontinuation of M.Phil Programmes, to align the education system with the western approach. The colleges are mandated to make all UG programmes multidisciplinary by 2040. There are several exit points in the UG course, the institute is responsible to provide certification by completing 1 Year of training, a Diploma certificate for completing 2nd year and bachelors by completing the third year. The academic credits are stored digitally in an Academic Bank of Credit, to transfer and account for the credit earned towards the final degree.

7. Introduction of NEAT

A regulatory body called National Educational Alliance for Technology will be created for better utilisation of technology for more efficient learning. It proposed to create a national alliance with the EdTech companies to create a more personalised learning experience.

Another important reform brought up is the education and training of the teachers, by 2030 the minimum educational qualification required to teach the students would be a 4 Year Bachelor of Education.

A national research foundation would be set up to take care of the research and innovations. The National Education Policy was tailored to overcome the grievances and inequality in opportunities and resources. However, the implementation of these new policies might take immense efforts and resources, intense collaborations with stakeholders etc.


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