Are We Ready for a Huge Change in Learning Methods

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By Education Today

Posted on April 6, 2022


8 min read

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Are We Ready for a Huge Change in Learning Methods

Analysing the new National Education Policy(NEP) 2020

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”- Nelson Mandela

Education is the acquisition of knowledge, the process of training the mind, character and also it is a process of developing skills. The National Education Policy establishes specific priority on the advancement of the creative capability of individuals. It is based on the principle that education must acquire not only cognitive skills but also higher cognitive skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, social and emotional skills. NEP also aims to include cultural awareness. The New Education Policy(NEP) of India, introduces several decisive amendments in the educational structure in India. The latest in New Education Policy was launched in 2020. A sweeping change in the curriculum is the primary motive of the NEP. This includes bringing up changes like opening up Indian higher education to foreign universities, the introduction of four-year undergraduate programs. NEP demands a complete reconstruction of academics from pre-primary education to higher education. Providing practical knowledge along with theoretical knowledge is the primary motive. Other major recommendations of the NEP in higher education are as follows:

● Schooling from the age of 3 years
● 5+3+3+4 education structure
● Reducing curriculum content
● Experiential learning
● The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language.
● Replacing the UGC and AICTE with the Higher Education Commission of India
● Firmness to institutions to offer different designs for Master’s programs
● Termination of the M.Phil program
● Establishment of National Research Foundation
● Increased access to online education, and Open Distance Learning(ODL)
● Refurbishing curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and student support
● Curriculum and pedagogy will be strongly rooted in the Indian and local context and ideologies in terms of culture, traditions, heritage,
customs, language, philosophy, geography, ancient and contemporary knowledge, societal and scientific needs, indigenous and traditional
ways of learning
● The National Testing Agency(NTA) will serve as the autonomous testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for undergraduate, graduate admissions, and fellowships in highereducation institutions
● By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated

Dr.Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted on the 4th of July that, under NEP 2O2O, they promised to introduce coding and data science in schools. And now, he is happy to see CBSE fulfilling the promise right in the session of 2021 itself. CBSE has collaborated with Microsoft to introduce Coding and Data Science in schools for classes 6 to 12 from upcoming sessions. The government has set a target year to accomplish this task which is 2040. It is said that “In the decade of 2030-40, the entire policy will be in an operational mode” in the NEP circular by the government. However, there exist several concerns regarding the policy. The implementation demands a tremendous effort. The government is planning to implement the first phase of the National Education Policy (NEP) by 2022, which indeed is a Herculean task. NEP 2020 has been criticized a lot for its change in language learning. As said earlier, the NEP proposes that whenever possible the medium of instruction till 5th grade and preferably till class 8 and beyond are going to be the house language, local language or the regional language. This will become problematic for the students if they shift their education to different states. Several students and teachers and organizations have criticized this policy for being anti-democratic. Most political parties to have also criticized it. Some educational experts criticized the New Education Policy highlights as being profoundly theoretical. Also, the government’s initiative in setting up a National Testing Agency to conduct entrance examinations for the higher educational institutions has been subjected to many objections like setting up an exam as an entrance will let some students remain unexplored. A student who might not be good at studies might have an interest in other fields. Judging a student’s caliber based on the exam will become an obstacle in their way to success. Prof. Dr.Gigy Joseph, Head of the Department(HOD) of Communicative English at CMS College, shares his perspectives on NEP with Education Today. NEP is an appreciable program by the government. However, NEP is trying to replace the educational policies which have been practiced for the past 34 years. Bringing a revolutionary change is of course a relevant matter. Since we are a part of the global society, bringing up the changes is a necessity. It is a requisite situation that we must keep the identity and diversity of our nation, even though India has numerous cultures and languages where keeping an identity is complicated.

Dr. Gigy Joseph

Dr. Gigy Joseph is discussing a preface to the analysis and is raising several concerns regarding the new NEP. First and foremost, he says that in NEP, it says “All higher education institutions excluding medical and law colleges will be governed by a single regulator”. Both the state and central governments have jurisdictional powers according to the constitution. In a country like India, where regional differences are enormous, implications of programs like these must be subjected to a second thought. Nevertheless, the involvement of the NTA in the entrance examinations is an appreciable move. Providing vocational training from standard 6, to the students invites criticism like at that age they might not be able to figure out what they want to study after 10th. Programs like introducing a new curriculum for early childhood care and education programs, providing training for teachers, and special attention for tribal students are noticeable. Including internships for class 6 students is a vague idea as they won be capable of dealing with such things at that term. Promoting regional languages is also noticeable. Equitable and inclusive education is a remarkable proposal. It is better late than never to include equitable and inclusive education in the curriculum. Standard setting and accreditation system helps the institutions in improving their quality. Assessing the accreditation committee is also necessary. Promoting the accreditation for private institutions and giving them rights for granting the certificates invites several problems when it comes to the quality of the institution. Reputation in this matter is significant. He concludes by saying that, the former leaders of the nation aimed at a secular nation which they managed to teach the students also. The constitution was built by including one of the main factors, which is diversity. Their prime motive was to preserve natural diversity. Therefore, there must be room for conserving the values which were executed by our leaders at the time of Independence. India is a part of a global society and therefore diffusing the significance of factors like human rights in the education system and following them is vital.

Dr. P.C. Aniyankunju Kottayil

According to Prof. Dr. P.C. Aniyankunju Kottayil, Director of Changanacherry Civil Service Institute and former principal of St. Aloysius College Edathua, programs like NEP are a requisite for our country.Students could be benefited through courses that include skill-based learning.

Bringing changes from preschools itself is a great thing. He also mentions a concern in the execution of this project as there are practical issues. Theprimary reason for this is, many regions and societies in India still need to be developed when it comes to the quality and availability of education. If amendments are taking place, then they should be provided to the rural areas also. While considering the involvement and interest of students, which is a focus issue, Dr. Aniyan Kunju states that most of the students can effortlessly adapt to the new curriculum as the students of the current generation need a change. Contrarily, the majority of people would not be able to change into a new curriculum and studies must be conducted regarding the students opinions

Even though there are a few drawbacks and technicalities, the new National Educational Policy, nevertheless, is considered revolutionary by the current Government. The government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy. It is said that NEP 2020 will bring about 2 crore out-of-school children back into the mainstream. NEP also aims at increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio. According to the tweet by the Ministry of Education on 31 May 2021, NEP 2020 encourages interdisciplinary learning and partnership by collaborating with IIT Delhi and NLU. The implementation will start immediately and many significant changes with over 100 action policies are noticeable. A final judgment can be made only after the execution of this project

Compiled by 

Sapna Raj   Jr.Journalist