Seeking to completely overhaul India’s education system, the Union Ministry of Education, formerly known as the Human Resource Development Ministry on Wednesday, 29 July, introduced the National Education Policy 2020.
Here are the key highlights:
- Under a multiple entry and exit system, degree students would be given a certificate after completing the first year, a diploma after the second and a degree at the end of the programme.
- Academic credits would be saved in DigiLocker, which would enable students who drop-out to resume their programme without having to take fresh admission.
- MPhil courses have been discontinued. Four-year degree programmes for students willing to pursue higher studies, three-year programmes for those eyeing the job market.
- Courses to become multidisciplinary in nature with major and minor programmes. Student can major in Physics and have Fashion Design as minor.
- Option of one common entrance exam for admissions to higher educational institutions.
- The National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialised common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, and vocational subjects, at least twice every year for university entrance exams.
Reforms in Schools
- Mother tongue, local or regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
- Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is, 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8): With flexible, multilevel, play/activity-based learning and the curriculum and pedagogy of ECCE.
- Preparatory Stage (Grades 3-5, covering ages 8-11): With the introduction of experiential learning across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities.
- Middle Stage (Grades 6-8, covering ages 11-14): With a subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style. Coding and internships to be introduced Grade 6 onwards.
- Secondary Stage (Grades 9-12 in two phases, ie, 9 and 10 in the first and 11 and 12 in the second, covering ages 14-18) : With greater depth, greater critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, greater flexibility and choice of subjects, and an option to exit at grade 10 and re-enter at a later stage in grade 11.
School Examinations in 3rd, 5th & 8th
- All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8, which will test achievement of basic learning outcomes, and application of knowledge in real-life situations.
- The Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued.
- Board exams will be made ‘easier’, as they will test primarily core capacities and competencies rather than months of coaching memorisation.
- Board may, over time, also develop further viable models of Board Exams, such as - annual/semester/modular Board Exams; offering all subjects beginning with mathematics, at two levels; two parts exams or objective type and descriptive type.
- The progress card of all students for school-based assessment will be redesigned.
- The progress card will be a holistic, 360-degree, multidimensional report that reflects in great detail the progress and the uniqueness of each learner in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.
- The progress card will include self-assessment, peer assessment and teacher assessment.