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NEP: Education must shift away from knowledge, move to teaching students

Dr Anjusha Gawande*

The Education sector in the globe is changing dramatically. Many manual jobs may be captured over by machines as a consequence of multiple spectacular advances in science and technology, including the machine learning, and artificial intelligence. A professional workforce, particularly one that includes mathematics, computer science, and data science, as well as multidisciplinary competencies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be in incredibly popular. As a result, education must shift away from knowledge and toward teaching students, how to be creative and transdisciplinary, and how to innovate, adapt, and process information differently in innovative and rapidly changing sectors.
The education development agenda at the global level is represented in Goal 4 (SDG4) of India's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015. Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020.
In June 2017, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) formed a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan to design a National Education Policy. In May of this year, the Committee submitted its report. (Sashikanth Yechuri, 2021)
This Policy intends to address our country's many pressing developmental imperatives. As per the document of National Education Policy 2020, (Ministry of human resource development, Government of India, 2020) It is founded on the idea that education should foster not just cognitive abilities including literacy and numeracy and higher-order abilities like critical thinking and problem solving, but also social, ethical, and emotional abilities.
The policy has addressed the numerous significant levels of education system, School education, Higher Education, Professional Education, Adult Education and Life Long Learning, Technology Use and Integration, Online and Digital Education, Strengthening the Central Advisory Board of Education, Financing, Quality Education for All.
A new pedagogical and curricular restructure of 5+3+3+4 covering ages 3-18 will be implemented in instruction and learning, 3 years in an Anganwadi/pre-school setting and 12 years in a school setting. It is as shown in the below diagram.
At foundational Level, NCERT will design a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) in two components, namely a sub-framework for 0–3-year-olds and a sub-framework for 3–8-year-olds, for children aged 0 to 8.
It will be functioning in two parts, that is,3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8).
Anganwadi workers/teachers with 10+2 or higher educational qualifications will receive a 6-month certificate programme in ECCE, while those with lower educational qualifications will receive a one-year diploma programme covering early literacy, numeracy, and other relevant aspects of ECCE. These programmes can be delivered via digital/distance mode via DTH channels as well as smartphones, allowing teachers to obtain ECCE qualifications while continuing to work.
Preparatory Stage will be consisted with 3 years of learning from class 3 to 5, Middle schooling again for 3 years including class 6 to 8, Secondary level will include 4 years of learning from class 9 to 12. The move from the decades-old 10+2 format to the 5+3+3+4 structure is one of the major improvements. It is the inclusive transition from foundational to the secondary stage in terms of structure. Previously, children between the ages of 6 and 14 were required to attend school. However, under the National Schooling Policy (NEP 2020), education will be mandatory for children aged 3 to 18.

Higher Education: Salient Features

Higher education is vital to achieving human and societal well-being and to building India into the democratic, just, socially conscious, cultured, and humane society that upholds liberty, equality, fraternity, and justice for all as envisioned in its Constitution. Higher education makes a substantial contribution to the nation's long-term livelihoods and economic development. As India progresses toward becoming a knowledge economy and culture, an increasing number of young Indians are likely to pursue higher education. The vision of the policy includes the following significant changes to the current system.

Institutional Restructuring and Consolidation

The primary goal of this higher education policy is to end higher education fragmentation by transforming higher education institutions into large multidisciplinary universities, colleges, and HEI clusters/Knowledge Hubs. University will be having a spectrum of institutions ranging from those that place equal emphasis on teaching and research, i.e., Research-intensive Universities and Teaching-intensive Universities. HEIs should always be established and developed in underserved areas to ensure full access, equity, and inclusion. By 2030, every district should have at least one large multidisciplinary HEI. Additionally, Institutions will be able to run Open Distance Learning (ODL) and online programmes if they are accredited.
A university, in its broadest sense, is a multidisciplinary institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programmes as well as high-quality teaching and research. The country's current complex nomenclature of HEIs, such as 'deemed to be university,' 'affiliating university,' 'affiliating technical university,' and 'unitary university,' will be replaced simply by 'university' upon meeting the norms.

Towards a More Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education

India has a long history of multidisciplinary and comprehensive education. The policy has focused on the culture of many arts, and that must be reintroduced into Indian education, as it is the type of education that will be necessary in the twenty-first century. Now a days it is called as liberal arts.
Curricular structures that are imaginative and adaptable will allow for creative combinations of subjects to be studied, as well as many entry and exit points. The undergraduate degree will last either three or four years, with multiple exit options and appropriate certifications, such as a certificate after one year in a discipline or field that includes vocational and professional areas, a diploma after two years of study, or a Bachelor's degree after a three-year programme. The Bachelor's degree programme is a four-year multidisciplinary curriculum.

Optimal Learning Environments and Support for Students

The foundations of quality learning include curriculum, pedagogy, continual assessment, and student assistance. A number of initiatives will be required, in addition to providing adequate resources and infrastructure, such as high-quality libraries, classrooms, labs, technology, sports/recreation areas, student discussion spaces, and dining areas, to ensure that learning environments are engaging and supportive, allowing all students to succeed.

Internationalization

High-performing Indian colleges would be encouraged to open campuses in other countries, while selected universities, such as those in the world's top 100, will be given preferential treatment in India.
An International Students Office will be established at each HEI that hosts international students to manage all aspects of welcoming and assisting international students. High-quality international research/teaching collaborations and faculty/student exchanges will be fostered, and relevant mutually advantageous MOUs with foreign nations will be signed.

Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education

This policy aims to provide all students with equal access to high-quality education, with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Access to high-quality higher education can open up a world of possibilities, allowing individuals and communities to break free from poverty cycles. As a result, ensuring that all people have access to high-quality higher education options should be a top priority.

Teacher Education

All teacher education programmes must be performed inside composite multidisciplinary institutions since teacher education requires multidisciplinary inputs and education in high-quality content as well as pedagogy. To this end, all multidisciplinary universities and colleges will strive to establish education departments that will, in addition to conducting cutting-edge research in various aspects of education, offer B.Ed. programmes in collaboration with other departments such as psychology, philosophy, sociology, neuroscience, Indian languages, arts, music, history, literature, physical education, science, and mathematics. Furthermore, by 2030, all standalone TEIs will be obliged to transform into multidisciplinary institutions in order to offer the 4-year integrated teacher preparation programme.
Departments of Education will need to have a broad faculty profile, although teaching/field/research experience will be highly appreciated.

National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to The two primary pillars that will propel the country's economy and enhance society are research and innovation. The Committee suggested an autonomous agency, the National Research Foundation, to strengthen the research system (NRF). The primary function of the foundation is to funding research in all disciplines. Science, Technology, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities will be the four major divisions of the NRF.

Education for Professionals

The higher education system will encompass all forms of professional education. In these and other sectors, independent technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities or institutions will be phased out. The first year or two of the MBBS programme will be structured to be generic for all scientific graduates, after which students would be able to choose between MBBS, BDS, Nursing, or other specialisations.

References

MHRD. (2020, August). National Education Policy 2020.Retrieved September 15, 2020from https://www.mhrd.gov.in/
Sashikanth Yechuri, Monday, July 12, 2021
https://www.careerindia.com/features/national-education-policy-2020-highlights-and-features-025209.html
https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1654058
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*MIT WPU School of Education, Kothrud, Pune

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