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Education in India has been imparted since ancient times when there were no schools but the so-called “ Gurukuls”. After India gained independence, several programs were started by the various political heads and educationists to endorse the education of the population in rural and urban areas. In 1968, based on a report of the Kothari Commission, the first Education Policy was formulated. The aim of this policy was basically to offer equal educational opportunities to the population of India.

This education policy underwent changes in the years 1986 and 1992 so that the education system in India could be improved by overcoming its shortcomings. In spite of these reforms, however, the Indian Education System suffered from many problems that put physical, mental as well as financial pressure on not only the students but their parents too.

After 34 years of the first major reform, the New Education Policy was announced in India on 29th July, 2020. In the elections of the year 2014, BJP, the ruling party had promised the education structure reformation in India. To do so, the government set up a commission called Committee for Draft National Education Policy under Dr. K. Kasturirangan in 2017. In 2019, the final report was turned in by this committee to the education minister. The report for reforms was made by taking suggestions from ULBs, districts and gram panchayats and blocks.

The main idea behind the new education policy 2020 is to create an impartial and all-encompassing society consisting of engaged, productive as well as contributing citizens. As per the policy, several reforms are suggested that must be implemented so that the education system in India can achieve the aim stated in the policy. Some of the chief recommendations and reforms of this policy are:

1. Language flexibility

As per the new policy of education, students are free to learn in any language. In other words, imposition of any language is not permitted on students. Mother tongue can be used for teaching different subjects to students till grade 5 to help students understand the basic concepts in a better manner. Regional language can also be used. However, the government of India has given a free hand to schools and states on how they execute this guideline.

2. School education

School education will undergo a major overhaul according to the new education policy. As per the policy, the 10+2 system will be replaced by the 5+3+3+4 education system or model.

3. Foundation of 5 year

The foundation stage would be 5 years. Of these 5 years, students will have to undertake admission in preschool for 3 years which will be followed by primary schools. In the schools, students will have to study in grades 1 and 2. The stage is aimed at students of age 3 to 8 years and encourages them to learn through practical learning and teaching experiences and methods.

4. Grades 3 to 5

Grades 3 to 5 cover the next 3 years. In this preparatory stage for students of age between 8 and 11 years. This stage would aim to introduce to the students writing, languages, speaking, mathematics, physical education, and also science.

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5. Semester System

Re-designed board exams would be executed for classes 10 and 12. These board exams would be held two times every year and the students would be given two attempts to pass the exam.

6. Coding for Students

For students of grade 6 onwards, coding will be introduced so that the students can learn advanced computers.

7. Theory Concepts

Theoretical concepts in science, humanities, arts, maths, and social science would be taught to the students in the middle stage in grades 6 to 8 for students of age from 11 to 14 years.

8. Secondary Stage

The last 4 years would be the secondary stage for grades 9-12 for students between 14 and 19 years. The students would be able to opt for multiple subjects in the last 4 years and would be able to study multiple disciplines in detail.

9. Appearance in Exams

According to the NEP, students will not have to appear for exams every year like that is happening in schools. However, students need to appear for exams in grades 3, 5 and 8.

10. Higher Education

The policy suggests that a Higher Education Council would be set-up to monitor the university education system. Master of Philosophy Courses will be discontinued, and students would be able to uptake any undergraduate programs. The students can also choose multiple subjects and change the subjects as per the NEP.

The students would be permitted to enroll in career as well as professional courses as per their wish and will be awarded a certificate after conclusion of one year, diploma at the end of two years and a bachelor’s degree once three years have ended. Internationalization of advanced education is also on the cards as the policy promotes foreign students to seek admission to Indian universities. The NEP has also declared that for public as well as private universities in India, the fee for different courses will be present.

11. Teacher Training

Teachers are the most essential and in fact the backbone of the education system in India. Therefore, the NEP also takes teacher training and education under reform. A 4-year Bachelor of Education would be essentially required for teachers by 2030. The aim of the policy is to make teacher professionals so that they can share their knowledge with students in an efficient and effective manner of teaching.

The NEP also has proposed the establishment of several institutions like National Education Commission, Gender Inclusion Fund and Academic Bank of Credit etc.

The new policy of education was welcomed as well as criticized. The policy received appreciation for its flexibility. The endeavour of the policy is to educate every citizen. The policy with its aim to spotlight psychological health of the students was also appreciated by many educationists. Main criticisms for the NEP were:

a) The policy according to some has commercialized education and attacked the central character of Indian education.

b) According to many specialists, the policy has not considered the caste-based worries and how people are oppressed in different areas when it comes to education.

c) Conducting research activity freely has also been undermined by the policy.

Many online platforms have appreciated the new education policy and Ziyyara Edutech feels that with the new education policy, transformation of Indian education system by the year 2040 will happen. The policy encompasses basic education, advanced education as well as professional training in rural as well as urban areas and aims at developing an India-cantered education structure. This can be done by executing the strategy of the policy to provide high class education with the ultimate aim to encourage the progress of the nation and make the nation a sustainable one.

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