Since the times our country’s education system was taken over by the British to date, the education that is imbibed in the minds of the young and the elderly holds colonial connotations to it. Never have we questioned the normalcy that remained in adapting to an education system that demanded a constant change of perspective with the changing times. The New Education Policy, introduced by the government in 2020, herby wishes to ‘Decolonize the mind’ and promote welfare for every young mind that deserves growth and opportunities.
The policy brings a change from the old means of defined growth to the new connotations of unlimited advancement and progress by implementing pathways that the youth wishes to choose for itself. This replacement of the previous National Policy on Education, 1986, involves a comprehensive framework for elementary and higher education. With NEP 2020, no student will be forced to study any particular language, portraying a loss of constraints that initially came along with mandatory language learning. This suggests a direct transformation towards high- quality education, ensuring that there is equal access to opportunities.
For this planned process towards evolvement, the government has set up an increase of 4%-6% of the GDP in the state expenditure. The policy highlights the importance of the mother tongue and respects the cultural dimensions and heritage of the nation that lies in the languages. The students have the freedom to choose a language of their liking right from Sanskrit to any foreign language with no restraints. The 10+2 structure is now to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 model further divided according to a planned study of psychological intake that is rightly modelled for the students to excel academically and personally. Moreover, the policy aims to lessen the curriculum burden of students, having reduced the number of exams for classes 3, 5, and 8 with a redesigning of convenient board exam structures.
The ‘inter-disciplinary’ or ‘multi-disciplinary’ facet of the policy intends to provide the students with a much varied and vast arena of choices for the government believes that the youth has no limitations when it comes to outshining. Students can now learn and major in the subjects of their choices, breaking the barriers of limited stream structures like those of science/arts/commerce. There will be an improvisation of research and innovation led by the crème of professionals and teachers who strive to make the learning experience for students, a bliss. The policy targets to create Special Educational Zones to focus on the education of the unrepresented disadvantaged groups and lead them towards an array of endless opportunities to be explored through their potential.
The New Education Policy hereby aims to bring the 2 crore and more out-of-school children back into mainstream education. It emphasizes on setting up of a Gender Inclusion Fund and Specialized Zone divides to create equal opportunities for the youth despite their differentiated backgrounds. Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at Par with IITs and IIMs, are to be set up as models of multidisciplinary education of global standards.
For the Differently-abled:
The policy takes into much consideration the importance of education for the Divyangjan (differently-abled) through the RPWD (Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Act 2016, encouraging them to participate in education from primary stages to higher learning. Special educators and professionals will be allotted to cater to the rehabilitation needs and an approach to barrier-free accessibility to transportation involving school buses and all other means will be provided. Further, like every other potential student of the nation, the differently-abled students will be introduced to technology and innovative means of learning, along with proper and aided resources to the home-school students.
Internationalization of education is taken into deep considerations by the New Education Policy that aims to broaden the scope of global learning. Foreign Universities will be allowed to set up campuses in the country
For financially backward and rural students-
An autonomous body- the National Education Technology Forum (NETF) will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology and enhanced learning. Further, the National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to track the progress of students receiving scholarships and reaching out to the nooks and corners of the nation.
The drop-out rates for girls are statistically seen to rise significantly after secondary education, considering the stereotypical and financial perspectives. However, the New Education Policy values the potential of women and transgender and aims to provide education to every individual. For this purpose, the Gender Inclusion Funds towards equitable education for girls as well as transgender students will be implemented. Further, essential measures have been enlisted towards reducing the disparity of female drop-outs in schools by reinforcing the infrastructural credibility of government schools and the availability of a safe and hygienic environment along with safe modes of transportation. Broadening of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, which aim to teach many female students, is also expected to be implemented.
The New Education Policy aims to bring about a change in the perspective of the nation and emphasize the ways of education in a way that it can provide a moulding experience for every child and student in India. The NEP endorses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4- Free Universal Access to Quality Education, and thus aims to create a model of learning, such that ‘No Child is Left Behind’.