Episode 36 – National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 – Bright future for India?

The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a massive update to India’s education policy. The last time a new education policy was brought into effect was back in 1986 before India’s economy was liberalised. That’s the broad framework on which our current education system rests on.

5 years in the making, it went through multiple drafts before the cabinet approved it on 29th August 2020. It seems that it has left the country divided on various fronts but the most talked about aspect is the medium of instruction, which we have discussed at length in this episode.

The NEP 2020 seems like a robust document and they have said all the right things but we will only be able to tell if it worked once it has been implemented in the year 2030. Yep! we have to wait for another 10 years for it to come into effect.

Peter Pop and Nadir Pop hand picked a few interesting points in the 60 odd page document and discussed it on the episode.

  • The most crucial and important one is the medium of instruction in home/state/local language apart from English only
  • Recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student
  • No hard separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. in
  • The change from the current 10+2 system to a 5+3+3+4 system
  • Emphasis on conceptual understanding rather than rote learning and learning-for-exams
  • Creativity and critical thinking to encourage logical decision-making and innovation; ethics and human & Constitutional values like empathy, respect for others, cleanliness, courtesy, democratic spirit, spirit of service
  • Extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for Divyang students, and educational planning and management;
  • Life skills such as communication, cooperation, teamwork, and resilience
  • A pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) of under 30:1 will be ensured at the level of each school; areas having large numbers of socio-economically disadvantaged students will aim for a PTR of under 25:1.
  • Educators to significantly reduce the weight of school bags and textbooks.
  • Discourage dropouts

Peter Pop and Nadir Pop have a though-provoking discussion on the above pointers and also tried to answer some basic questions through the lens of a parent

  • Will affect us as parents considering we have toddlers at our homes?
  • Will lead to our kids will not having the stress and anxiety of exams?
  • Will this put less pressure on us for our kids to perform? Will we still chase marks because clearly the policy has completely watered it down
  • What about extra classes? Music, arts, sports, etc. Will these gaps be filled with the new regime?
  • Do we have something to look forward to?

You can read the complete document here

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