06, Jun 2019
Prelims level : Governance Mains level : GS-II Governance, Social Justice and IR
Why in News:
- The first draft of the National Education Policy gathered controversy.
Background: / What is the new education policy for?
- The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of India’s large youth population.
- A New Education Policy is designed to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements in terms of quality education, innovation and research.
The policy aims at making India a knowledge superpower by equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge.
- It also focusses on eliminating the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. The Draft Policy is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.
What are the key changes proposed?
- Ministry – The committee has proposed to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as Ministry of Education (MoE).
- Curriculum – In school education, a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure was proposed.
- The policy calls for an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education.
- A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children was proposed.
- It consists of –
- Foundational Stage (age 3-8 yrs): 3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2 Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5
- Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8
- Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12
- The policy also seeks to reduce content load in school education curriculum.
- There will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra- curricular areas.
- All subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc will be part of the curricular.
- Thus, schools will be re-organized into school complexes.
- The policy promotes active pedagogy to focus on the development of core capacities and life skills, including 21ST century skills.
- RTE Act – The committee recommends Extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18 (currently, 6-14).
- Teacher education – The committee proposes for massive transformation in teacher education.
- It calls for shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions.
- It proposes moving all teacher preparation/education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
- The 4-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed. programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
- Higher education – A restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions was proposed –
- Type 1: Focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching
- Type 2: Focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research
- Type 3: High quality teaching focused on undergraduate education
- This will be driven by two Missions -Mission Nalanda & Mission Takshashila.
- There will be re-structuring of Undergraduate programs such as BSc, BA, BCom, BVoc of 3 or 4 years duration and having multiple exit and entry options.
- Institution – A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed.
- This is to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions.
- The body will also coordinate efforts between the Centre and states.
- The National Research Foundation, an apex body, is proposed for creating a strong research culture.
- It will help build research capacity across higher education.
- The four functions of Standard Setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation will be separated and conducted by independent bodies.
- National Higher Education Regulatory Authority will be the only regulator for all higher education including professional education.
- The policy proposes to create an accreditation eco-system led by a revamped NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council).
- Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education was proposed.
- UGC is to be transformed to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
- The private and public institutions will be treated on par, and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.
- Besides the above, the committee also recommended several new policy initiatives for – promoting internationalization of higher education
strengthening quality open and distance learning technology integration at all levels of education facilitating adult and lifelong learning
enhancing participation of under-represented groups
- eliminating gender, social category and regional gaps in education outcomes
- Language – Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit were proposed.
Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended.
- The policy called for the proper implementation of the three-language formula (dating back to 1968) in schools across the country.
Accordingly, students in Hindi-speaking states should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English.
- In non-Hindi-speaking states, students will have to learn Hindi along with the regional language and English.
- The controversial three language provision was, however, dropped after protests against it in many states.
- The draft was revised by the committee making the changes in this regard.