On Wednesday, July 29, the Indian government took a groundbreaking decision to change the 34-year-old education policy prevalent in India and introduced the National Education Policy which makes the education system in India comparable to the ones prevalent in Western developed countries like Germany and the United States of America. Not only has the structure and levels of education changed in this policy but even the name of the Ministry has been changed from the Human Resource and Development to Education. The reforms introduced have completely revamped our education system. Here is everything you need to know about the NEP.
Change in pedagogical structure from 10+2 to 5+3+3+4 system
Earlier, the school structure was of a 10+2 pattern where classes 1 to 10 were taken under one bracket, and classes 11 and 12 were taken under another. The new policy changes this pattern to a 5+3+3+4 pattern introducing four different phases namely:
The Foundational Stage(5 years)
This stage is further divided into 2 parts: Classes 1-2 and 3 years of preschool (Anganwadi) where the learning will most be activity-based, play-oriented, and multilevel. This level will help build a student’s behavior in public places, his team spirit, and his hygiene.
The Preparatory Stage(3 years)
The students of classes 3-5 will constitute this phase. Students in this phase would usually be of the age group 8-11 and therefore, in their formative years. The transition would gradually be from play-based learning to more formal but interactive classroom learning, with the introduction of some new subjects. Emphasis will be on subjects like reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, sciences, and mathematics.
The Middle Stage(3 years)
Students of the age group 11-14 in grades 6-8 will be a part of this stage. Experiential learning in the field of arts, mathematics, sciences, and humanities are to be introduced along with abstract concepts and topics within the subjects. The focus would be on critical learning objectives and not on learning by rote.
The Secondary Stage(4 years)
The last stage in the new pedagogical structure of the NEP includes students from Classes 9-12 and ages 14-18. This phase will focus on multidisciplinary study, with greater depth, greater attention to life aspiration, greater critical thinking, and flexibility of subjects. The policy has been designed to optimize learning for students based on the cognitive development of children and make it less tedious.
No distinction in fields of sciences, commerce, and humanities
Our previous system segregated students in three different streams whereby students can only choose subjects from the subject pool of the respective stream. This meant that a student could not study two contrasting subjects even if he was interested. This had a huge downside as students had to compromise on some of their favorites to study some of the others. For example, a student who loves Mathematics, Physics but was not so much inclined towards Chemistry and wants to study History simply couldn’t choose so as per the previous educational norms. This has completely been changed in this reform. Today, the system of streams has been dissolved and a student can choose any subject of his liking from the mixed pool.
Earlier, assessments were made by teachers who decided on the performance of each student over the year. Now, A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body. Report cards will include the self-assessment of students and reviews by their peers in addition to the teacher’s assessment.
Vocational training to be given the importance
Students will be introduced to internships from class 6 so that they start having a practical knowledge of what they are studying and apply the theories and concepts that they have been reading.
This policy has come as a welcoming decision after a long struggle. It not only makes the Indian education rise up to a world standard but also aims at 100% literacy of the youth.