On 29 July 2020, Union Cabinet endorsed the New National Education Policy and altered the HRD Ministry to the Ministry of Education. The policy is developed to bring an alteration to Indian schools and the higher education system. This policy is the replacement of the 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.

The new policy provides a detailed roadmap to guide the advancement of the education system in our country. Following are the key takeaways from the New National Education Policy (NEP):

●     Compulsory education from 3-18 years

Earlier, there was 6-14 years of compulsory education for every child that has been amended to 3-18 years of schooling. Now with the new policy, kids will attend pre-schools or anganwadi from 3-6 years. With a great priority on early childhood care and education (ECCE), the 10+2 structure of schooling will be renewed to a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure conforming to the ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years accordingly.

●     More emphasis on the mother tongue of a child

Though the policy still holds to its three-language formula, the NEP is going to be more concentrated on the child’s mother tongue. It’s not essential to use the mother tongue as a medium of instruction but kids understand and discern things more quickly in their home language. Kids will learn in their mother tongue at least till 5th grade and even till 8th grade or more if possible. This is to be followed by both government and private schools.

Single body to be set up as a single overarching umbrella

The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will now formulate a single body to regulate the entire higher education system, excluding medical and legal education. These standards of regulation, accreditation, and educational curriculum will be applied to both government and private higher education institutions. The government has the objective to phase out the association of colleges and grant stage-wise autonomy to the colleges.

Blurred boundaries between the stream of arts, science, and commerce

No more disputes among the students about Arts, Science, and commerce. Yes, you got it right! The NEP has schemed not to impose rigid separations between fields of study, curricular and extracurricular activities, and between vocational and academic streams. Vocational education to start in school from 6th standard including internships.

FYUP Programme – no more dropouts

Undergraduate degree courses will be of 3-4 years, and students will be given numerous exit options within this period. There will be 3 stages to this policy: if a student completes 1 year of his course efficiently and wants to leave the college, he will be provided with a certificate from the college. If he completes 2 years of the course, he’ll get a diploma. Completing the 3-year program will make the student eligible to get a Bachelor’s degree. The government aims to start an Academic Bank of Credit, where all the academic credits and details of the students from different higher education institutions will be stored so that those files can be easily transferred and counted towards the final degree. 

So, these are a few significant points about India’s New National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020. Let’s hope that this policy will play a transformational role in redefining our outdated education system.