What is National Education Policy (NEP)?
These are a set of policies formulated by the Government of India to promote education amongst Indian people. NEP is basically a comprehensive framework to guide the development of education in the country. The urge of such a framework was first realized in the year 1968 which was then revisited and revised in the year 1986. This was again reviewed and updated in 1992 as per the need of the hour. Since then, the entire world and the overall sector have witnessed massive changes. Hence, this year, the government decided to revise these policies to make them more relevant and compelling for the education ecosystem.
Overview of the policy
The new NEP has been introduced with an aim to formalize changes in the system from K-12 level to college/university level. Keeping in mind the developing scenario, education content henceforth, will focus on key-concepts, ideas, applications and problem-solving angles. Let’s take a look at some of the innovative policies introduced for the primary and secondary level education.
The NEP 2020 is focused on creating a holistic, application-based education system with a special emphasis on skill development which will make the students future-ready.
NEP’s focus on higher education
Similarly, there are a lot of reforms and new developments which have been introduced by NEP in the higher education sector.
Let’s take a look at some of the important ones which are well-poised to create a positive difference in the sector.
The National Education Policy is expected to bring positive and long-lasting impact on the higher education system of the country. The fact that foreign universities will be allowed to open campuses in India is a commendable initiative by the government. This will help the students experience the global quality of education in their very own country. The policy of introducing multi-disciplinary institutes will lead to a renewed focus on every field such as arts, humanities and this form of education will help students to learn and grow holistically. Thus, students will be equipped with stronger knowledge base.
The introduction of single common entrance test is another positive step which will reduce the stress of multiple competitive exams and ease off the pressure of preparing for so many of them. It will also ensure a level playing ground for all student applicants going forward. Establishing Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) is definitely a robust idea to store the academic credits that students earn by taking courses from various recognized higher education institutions. A student can earn scores by completing a course and these will be credited to the ABC account. One can then transfer these credits if he/she decides to switch colleges. If a student ever drops out for some reasons, these credits will remain intact which means he/she can come back years later and pick up from where the student had left.
The new NEP is focused on increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education space which is currently around 26%. This is much lesser than other countries such as China, Brazil and North American nations. The Indian government needs to introduce stronger policies for educational infrastructure development. It has to promote foreign direct investments (FDI) and open up the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) route to strengthen the capital pool for the sector. As rightly mentioned by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman during the 2021-22 Budget speech, the country needs greater inflow of finance to attract talented teachers, build better infrastructures and formalize measures which will enable sourcing ECBs and FDI.
The new National Education Policy looks picture perfect currently. But the key to its success is its implementation within the set deadline. Now, we have to patiently wait and see how things turn out in the future and how we can reap the massive benefits that will be brought into the system with its successful execution.
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