The Centre recently unveiled its new education policy, proposing sweeping changes in the way education is imparted in Indian classrooms. The National Education Policy 2020, as it is called will replace the 34-year-old policy, which was announced by the erstwhile Rajiv Gandhi government.
The new policy focusses on ushering ‘experiential thinking and critical thinking’ in classroom teaching. Further, the policy looks at opening up the higher education sector to foreign institutes.
Some of the key highlights of the policy are that government schools will now offer pre-school education, which has so far been offered by only private institutes. Further, the centre has proposed switching to a 5+3+3+4 formula instead of the current 10+2 followed across schools.
The policy also recommends that the mother tongue or regional language should be the medium for up to at least grade 5. The policy document states that children learn and grasp non-trivial concepts more quickly in their home language. However, it mentions that no language should be imposed on any student.
The policy also aims at redesigning board exams to primarily test a student's core capacities and competencies, rather than rote-learning. Students can, if they so desire, take up the exam on 2 occasions in a school year.
The four-year undergraduate program will be making a comeback in Indian colleges. It allows colleges to choose between the current three year undergraduate programmes and a four-year programme. Students will also be offered multiple exit options.
The policy also focusses on making universities multi-disciplinary by 2040. It also does away with multiple regulators. All these will now be replaced by a single regulator.
To discuss this further, CNBC-TV18’s Archana Shukla spoke to Anil Swarup, Former Education Secretary; Ashish Dhawan, Founder and CEO of Central Square Foundation; Yamini Aiyar, President and CEO of Centre for Policy Research; and Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation.