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Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020 12:00 [IST]

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Pros and Cons ofthe National Education Policy (NEP) 2020

BHUPENDRAPOKHREL
After 34 years, there is a change in the education policy in India with the introduction of the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP). On July 29, the Union Cabinet headed by the Indian Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi approved the National Education Policy 2020 with transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country.This new policy aims at universalization of education in India with a 100% gross enrolment ratio by 2030 for school education and 50% by 2025 for higher education. Though not a binding constitutional document, the policy is aimed at envisioning the educational framework and orientation of the country in the upcomingyears.
Based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission, the maiden National Education Policy was promulgated in 1968 for introducing a comprehensive guideline for the modern Indian education system.. In 2005, the National Curriculum Framework was introduced for the designing of NCERT textbooks.
Like all other policies, the NEP 2020 also has its share of pros and cons.
PROS OF NEP:
One of the biggest changes is the ability to leave college at different points in time. This will not only allow students to decide how much to study, but also allow them to decide when to study. For example, a student may need to start working after 4 semesters, but have the right and ability to go back at a later time to complete their education and graduate with a 4 year degree. This fits in well with continuous and adult learning where people learn throughout their life. This will also allow students to always be learning what is current and in demand in the market place.
The NEP offers students the ability to have a broad based education through multidisciplinary institutions. Why is this important…?? What we have seen so far is that students in India tend to focus on their subject matter at an early age, whether it is engineering or medicine or law. They miss out on exposure to other aspects of life like humanities and music and arts. There is general consensus among educators that student learning with multidisciplinary learning leads to higher order thinking abilities and more in-depth learning
Students need to move away from learning by rote to learning how to learn. They should be able to understand the process of learning and how to integrate different viewpoints and to craft their responses depending on the changing environment and inputs. This requires students to develop their thinking process and to deal with uncertainty, which reflects the real world.
CONS OF NEP:
In a constantly changing world, the institutions and the curriculum and the teaching process has to become dynamic in order to keep with developments. This is not at all easy to manage as some of the changes may not be known in advance. The use of technology and machine learning tools can potentially be used to make predictions about what to expect in the future. While the NEP mentions the need to be ready for change, not enough emphasis has been placed on how this will happen.While educators would like students to learn for the pure pleasure of learning, the reality is that a large number of students focus on education with the end point of getting a good paying job. In order for this to happen smoothly, job opportunities during each of the exit points need to be planned well in advance so that students can have a focused approach as they make decisions about when to exit the college system.
 The NEP does allow some amount of individualization, much more needs to be done to make this happen for students. The courses also need to be adaptable for students to learn at their own pace instead of having to keep up with the rest of the class. While this is difficult scenario, it is important for us to keep this objective in mind and to work towards it.
It is clear that the future of the students looks good,as they will be better prepared before they reach college, will have opportunities to explore their passions and interests, and learn to study in a better manner. At the same time, they need to be careful of changes as the environment changes and also need to be alert to new career opportunities opening up. All in all, the NEP seems like a good deal.The National Education Policy 2020 has more pros than con. However, it is only after the execution that the people will finally be able to judge its effectiveness.

(The writer is an advocate from Gangtok. Email: pokhrel.bhupen@gmail.com)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi