EDUCATION .. New education policy for new century; all university admissions to be regulated by one authority


NEW DELHI: The new National Education Policy, announced this week, comes after over 30 years of drag – the NEP having first formulated in 1968 and updated in 1992. The idea was to start the new century with a new education policy, but it took 20 more years after the start of the new century to unveil the new policy.

The 10+2 structure of school curricula will be replaced with a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to age groups 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively.

Another major highlight of the new policy is that all higher education institutions, other than medical colleges and law colleges, will be brought under one regulatory panel. All higher educational institutions will have their examinations controlled by this panel.

Significantly, the new policy has provisions to allow foreign universities to open campuses in India – which was long-demanded and the government hesitated so far. This will result in a healthy competition with Indian Universities, most of which are poorly run in recent decades. Indian universities hardly ever figure in list of top universities in global rankings.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who announced the details of the new policy on Wednesday, said 

said a 21st Century National Education Policy (NEP) has been approved by the Union Cabinet. “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the new education policy. There were no changes in education policy for over 30 years,” he said.

As per the new policy, common entrance examination will be held for admission to university courses across the country. Among other decisions, the MPhil course will now be discontinued. Home language, mother tongue or regional language will be the medium of instruction upto Class V. The School curriculum will be reduced to core concepts and there will be an integration of vocational education from Class VI.

For making board exams easy, reduction of curriculum to core concepts, replacement of 10+2 structure of school curricula with a 5+3+3+4 structure and medium of instruction up to Class 5 in mother tongue or regional language are envisaged. Board exams for Classes 10 and 12 will be continued, but will eliminate the need for coaching classes.

Students will be allowed to take board exams twice during a school year, one main examination and one for improvement. All students will take school examinations in Classes 3, 5, and 8 to be held by a new authority.

The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of anganwadi and pre-schooling. The new system will cover four stages — Foundational Stage (three years of anganwadi or pre-school followed by classes 1-2), Preparatory Stage (classes 3-5), Middle Stage (classes 6-8) and Secondary Stage (classes 9-12).

“Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects so that they choose their own paths according to their talents and interests. There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.

There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under graded autonomy, academic, administrative and financial autonomy will be given to colleges on the basis of the status of their accreditation. E-courses will be developed in regional languages. Virtual labs will be developed and a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) is being created. IHN-NN


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