- Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education
NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre-school to secondary.
The objective behind this is to ensure that the education system of the nation is in complete harmony with the Sustainable Devolvement Goal 4 (SDG4). The SDG4 primary objective is to ensure the increase literacy rate of the nation. The foundation will be laid by 2025, and the SDG4 is stated to achieve its target by 2030 at the projected rate. Hence the primary objective of this education policy to establish a link between the SDG4 as established by United Nation India and the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as established by UNESCO.
- Early Childhood Care & Education with new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure
With emphasis on ECCE as established above, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure.
|3 – 8||5|
|8 – 11||3|
|11 – 14||3|
|14 – 18||4|
This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child. This would take place following the 3 years of pre schooling.
NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8. This course will inculcate the necessary skills which could be established earlier in the childhood of children. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.
- Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
The flagship government scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, is aimed at achieving universal quality education for all Indians. Recognizing this, foundational literacy and numeracy are to be treated as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to education. This education policy plans to initiate National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by Ministry of Human Resources Development, whereby States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025. This shall be executed following the establishment of National Book Promotion Policy
- Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy
The school revised syllabus shall aim for holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key modern skills, reduction in curricular content to reinforce essential learning and flexible thinking, leading to a greater specialise in experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and selection of subjects. there’ll be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships. All of this shall be compressed in the National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, which will be developed by the NCERT.
- Multilingualism and the power of language
NEP throughout its draft has made the emphases on mother tongue/local language/regional language clear. And the same is ensured, as these languages shall be pushed to be the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond. Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school education and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. No language will be imposed on any student.
Further Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level, also Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country.
- Assessment Reforms
NEP 2020 plans to change the assessment to a method which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity. All students are expected to sit for examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim. 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.
- Equitable and Inclusive Education
As established in the first point, this education policy is not only to better the education system but also is structured to inculcate the aim of SDG4 and the ECCE. To ensure the above special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities. This includes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups. Every state/district would be expected to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities.
- Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path
The National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) is expected to be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions. Following this every faculty would be hired, promoted or demoted in fair and transparent manner.
- School Governance
The NEP plans to form groups or clusters of school for a smoother process of administration. The basis of formulation is yet to be announced. However, the above is executed to ensure the availability and maintenance of resources, faculty and infrastructure.
- Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education
Another step instructed by the NEP 2020 to ensure smooth administration is by initiating the formulation of separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters. The NEP states that every States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). This will be done too ensure the points made under School Governance as well as transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information to ensure accountability. The State Council of Educational Research and Training, Delhi will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) which would aid the above formulations.