The announcement of the new National Education Policy has led to a surge of excitement flowing through teachers, parents, students, administration, and the country in general, as everyone’s excited to see how this policy shapes the individuals who come out of the education system and the impact it has on the society as a whole. The entire decision seems to be taking a complete turn for the better.
How will the schools adapt to these major changes?
But now a lot seems to be riding on the schools and how warmly they embrace and start preparing for these changes. The NEP 2020 is only a few pages of a document, it alone will accomplish absolutely nothing without the cooperation and successful implementation from the schools, who are the end provider of this essential service.
The NEP is bound to put a lot of pressure on the teachers and administration staff, especially the ones who have been working in this field for a long time and have gotten accustomed to working in a certain way. It will be a massive challenge for them to fundamentally change their teaching practice and philosophy. But one should never stop learning, no matter the age or the profession. With the NEP, both the teachers and students will have to start learning new tricks, skills, and attributes which will end up shaping a better, and more dynamic society in the long-term. The schools have to understand that by their successful preparation and implementation of this programme, it will be the students who will be able to reap the benefits.
A new-age policy
The stance the NEP has taken is one of advancement and progression in this dynamic and ever-changing world we are all a part of. Technology and skills lose significance and relevance by the time you’re done perfecting them. One needs to make themselves malleable and personify the qualities of a sponge, by making sure to not let obsolescence be an impediment in their journey to succeed in life. The NEP steps up to this task by keeping creativity and innovation in its purview and making it an imminent priority. The approach can also be characterised as one that’s global by how many ideas and concepts seemed to have been borrowed from foreign education systems, and by gauging the success and failure of our education system against theirs and finding the best of the two worlds.
Over-hauling the previous system for assessments
Another key area of improvement has been in the field of assessments. Backtracking from the previously established marks-based outcome, it has shifted towards a learning-based outcome to measure the abilities of the students. To quote Miss Beena Nair, the Associate Vice President and Academic Head of Seth M R Jaipuria Group of Schools, “Instead of assessment of learning, it is an assessment for learning.” Curiosity is applauded and thoroughly encouraged under this new framework. A new assessment body will be created under the name of PARAKH (Performance Assessment Review & Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) to support this which will have the sole motive of providing a uniform assessment system for the entire nation, which will take inputs and come up with the best and most suitable practices to accomplish its purpose.
Extension of the RTE
One of the major talking points pertaining to the policy has been about the change in the age group who belong in the category of “Right To Education (RTE)”. Where previously RTE was limited to the children spanning between the ages of 5-14; the new policy has extended the age bracket to 3-18 years of age. The advantages for people between the age group of 15-18 are obvious, in that they’ll have access to much-needed support which will aid them towards a smoother transition towards higher education. But to focus on the lower limit of this bracket, the one between 3-5; with the advent of the NEP, education in these early years will face proper standardisation and a uniform approach.
Inculcating ancient Indian values in the system
An effort has been made to borrow the ideology that was the cornerstone of our ancestors back in our days of glory. The morals and values that were the foundation of this culture of ours, if inculcated and followed by the education system in the coming years, will lead to more decent humans stepping out of the education system. In the last few decades, the education system hardly ever even made an effort to think on these lines. This could be a major factor to differentiate our education system from that of other countries.
The decision along with successful implementation can lead to not only the students from our country preferring to stay here and pursue higher education, but also the inflow of students from abroad, who come with a mindset of securing education that is high on skills and knowledge, but at the same time has room for improvement in the area of attitude and ethics. The point remains that if we are able to accomplish the tough task of amalgamating our culture with the education system, we’ll be able to cultivate and develop some of the best talents in the world.
Focusing on the quality of education, not quantity
With the decision of cutting down a bulk of the syllabus, the Education Ministry has made it clear that this indeed is a new-age policy, where the focus is on the quality of the information absorbed, rather than the quantity. The compromise is made in terms of the syllabus, not the skills learnt. The entire policy seems to keep the students in mind, and takes into account their preferences and provides them with the freedom to express their choices. This is a major deviation from the previous education policy, which hardly ever considered the students as an entity with the right to make choices or have any free-will or say in what they want or aspire to learn and become.
How to get the most out of this policy
To get the best out of this policy and make the most of it, the students need to enter with an open mind and be flexible, so that they can easily adapt to the changes and different innovations that are going to take place in the years to come. Introspect, and assess your interests, ambitions and skills, in order to make the right choices. Because with what is bound to follow, you will not be able to blame others for not giving you a say in what you learn. You’ll need to be accountable for your decisions.