These Are The Reasons We Are Upbeat About NEP 2020

These Are The Reasons We Are Upbeat About NEP 2020

by Dhaval Patel and Purnendu Patra - Aug 2, 2020 03:24 PM +05:30 IST
These Are The Reasons We Are Upbeat About NEP 2020 
A still from the film, that portrays the central theme - A malayali teacher is appointed to a Kannada medium school and admonishes students who insist on using Kannada
  • With NEP, the Ravis of the world need not stick to Political Science anymore if Literature or Geography appeals more to them in their second year.

    What’s more, they’ll even get a certificate for the year they spent learning Politics.

    With such progressive options, 'Do what you like', and 'Like what you do', will soon be a reality.

Ravi (name changed), a postgraduate in Arts, is a quiet person, keeping to himself and his limited circle of Political Science friends.

However, as the sun set on Wednesday, his usually mellow voice had morphed into a rather high-pitched croak.


Student circles in Delhi were abuzz with the latest edition of NEP approved by the Union Cabinet and Ravi had had his fair share of contesting, accepting, refuting and sometimes, outright screaming to get his point through.

For the first time in two decades, a million Ravis now see hope. The excitement was understandable.

The scene was no different in the other metros, with students and teachers taking to social media right from the moment the NEP 2020 was released.

A shift to numeracy has multiple takeaways, since it precludes literacy, a much-touted but often over-looked national development goal set by previous governments.

Teachers are also of the opinion that it has logic in its root, thereby excluding the need to memorise in numerous real-life situations.

Among other things, multilingualism in education has been a long-standing demand from various corners of the society in different parts of the nation.

While English continues to dominate the world scene as the leading medium for conducting trade, communication and diplomacy, its need for the under-privileged students of India’s hinterland has always been a matter of debate.

Considered a secondary language in most state-run schools throughout India, English will continue to be the dominant medium of instruction and evaluation, but the inclusion of a second native language as an option will come as a huge reprieve to many wards and their parents.

India’s unemployment problem stems as much from wrong employment as it does from the qualified and jobless.

A major cause of mismatch between qualification, employment and ability is the rigidity of higher education degrees.

To address this issue, the NEP 2020 has proposed a modular degree alternative through the exit option.

So, the Ravis of the world need not stick to Political Science anymore if Literature or Geography appeals more to them in their second year.

What’s more, they’ll even get a certificate for the year they spent learning Politics.

This design, backed with the proper social infrastructure, has the potential to arrest skill-interest-job mismatch and thus lead to happier people working in highly productive environments.

Despite India’s ancient wisdom placing Gurus right at the top of the education system, over a long period of foreign rule, and perhaps half a century of pseudo-Anglo governance, the position of teachers has eroded from being revered to a community of low-income, low-esteem individuals.

The latest revision in India’s education policy seeks to change this by bringing back faculty into the heart of the education system.

From their recruitment to professional development, performance assessment, integrity, good governance, research; all considered ideal for development of teaching as an attitude, more than a profession.

Academic Bank of Credit, when implemented, will help a student create an account in which s/he can gather credits from not one but several sources like MOOCs, distance learning programs, workshops et cetera.

This will then be instrumental in evaluation and award of their final degree.

Thus, platforms like Swayam will become relevant in adding more than just learning to the students’ bio.

The proposed National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be instrumental in delivering educational software in vernacular medium to needy students while enhancing professional development opportunities for academicians. NIOS, IGNOU, IITs, NITs will be entrusted with the responsibility of evaluating the feasibility of integrating offline with online education at various levels.

NETF will also determine standards for e-learning content, pedagogy and technology.

To remind the current generation of academicians and students alike, that learning doesn’t essentially have to happen behind a desk inside a box, sports, health, and vocational education will be included into regular disciplines to fulfil the multi-disciplinary nature of the policy.

Until now, only premium privately owned schools had the courage to introduce days when students can leave their bags at home.

But with bag-less days now becoming a frequently used policy term, this is set to become the norm.

A critical end that the NEP 2020 aims to achieve is the expertise of every student in at least one skill when they graduate from the course.

This, when combined with the blurring of arts and science disciplines opens up avenues for inter-disciplinary learning and life skills education, a throwback to the Vedic ages.

Vocational courses will be available right up to the Bachelor’s level, by which time a student is likely to have developed some specific interests.

HEIs will be empowered to deliver courses on Lok Vidya, specialised vocational knowledge developed in India.

Decision-making will be encouraged in students at a young age.

A logical framework will be developed to aid them in integrating ethics into all such choices.

This is later proposed to be expanded along the themes of cheating, plagiarism, littering, tolerance, equity, empathy to enable young minds imbibe morality into their lives.

Another proposed change that could be key is the move to a regular formative assessment from the current summative one.

As the official statement indicates, this is meant to do away with the coaching culture that prevails.

This also means that the burgeoning market of private coaching needs to adapt in a big way and that we will see less of their ‘capsule’ or ‘crash’ offerings.

This, along with many salient features which lend universality to its character, enable the policy to achieve what late President APJ Abdul Kalam dreamed of in his Vision 2020 document.

Given the context of the NEP, it is only fair for the government to propose the re-naming of the MHRD to Ministry of Education, for not only will it bring back the focus to its first job, education, but also provide some food for thought to the policy makers.

For, it is not inanimate resources, but humans that need to be developed into fully functional and joyful beings.

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