Education sector reforms
Government is committed to provide equitable access to quality education to all across all levels starting from primary to the university. National Education Policy (NEP) has now become operational which promises the educational reforms which are going to be seen in the next few years as being very comprehensive and holistic in terms of early childhood care, entire school undergraduate and research level education in all different disciplines, in terms of governance, quality, access and all aspects put together. It is a complete paradigm shift from what we are and what we are going to be.
Structure of NEP
With regard to the entire structure the age appropriate education is given which depends upon the age and the development in that age group.
- Early childhood has been brought under the mainstream of education starting from the age of 3 therefore it will be a 15 year duration and the pattern will be called as 5+3+3+4.
- First 5 years including 3 years of early childhood care, plus 3 years plus 3 years and last 4 years 9,10,11,12 grades will be secondary education.
- No specialization in 11th and 12th
A lot of emphasis is given on improving the effectiveness of government schools through school complex vocational education and regular education being combined together with the autonomy is provided for all the higher education institutions.
Reforms in School or Higher Education
Since students are the central focus of all the education system so the reforms must be made to make them good learners which is the starting point in every education. The reforms are based on following points-
- How learning happens- So far the student was only exposed to lecturing by the teachers. According to cognitive science research, students can master skills by doing things, by observing and reflecting on the results and also by using the feedback from the others such as teachers and peers among them. NEP, therefore, focuses on strengthening these learning practices inside and outside the classroom.
- Also, the teachers need to be trained enough so that they may engage the students in an active manner in a classroom. To train the teachers “national professional standards” for teachers by NEP is being processed.
Implementation of NEP
- The departments of Ministry of Education namely the “higher education department” and “school education and literacy department” have done the detailed planning and have also started interacting with various states as a result of which many state governments have set up task forces for implementations. For e.g. In Karnataka central government ordered that secondary school education and Pre university education will be merged into a single authority for conducting exams.
- Bodies like NCERT have started to refer to their curricular frameworks and also UGC, AICTE have set up various committees to look into the matter.
Prospective results that reforms can produce:
- According to the 42nd constitutional amendment, both the state government and central are responsible for implementing NEP. The active participation from the state governments is being witnessed as they are joining hands with the central government and working out the road plan for the implementation of NEP which is the true representation of the federal structure of our constitution.
- Although NEP is in the stage of implementation but one of the very successful reform or the scheme that was implemented was the RUSSA scheme- The Rashtriya Uchatar Siksha Abhiyan under which the state educational institutions are being helped in improving the research environment and the governance system in the universities
- At the National level the global initiative for academics network with the help of which every university can invite the top notch experts from across the globe who can visit the university for a week, provide lectures and interact with faculty members.
- Imprint program, impacting research, innovation and technology through which many universities have collaborated with each other.
Role of Autonomy and Local languages in NEP
- Skill development, research and innovation all these three are extreme important steps in higher education which will not happen at a macro level initially, so autonomy to the universities and colleges is provided. To accomplish this some states have come out with the plan of One District One Product.
- Language is an extremely essential part of learning, unfortunately in the past few years it has been treated as a non- utilitarian area. NEP clearly mentions the promotion of Indian language in the higher education.
- Best material of the world must be made available in Indian language so that the students familiar with their own language may pick up. This will bring about access, equity, appreciation of the culture, etc.
To realize the goals of NEP there is a plan of a few years to implement it properly.