New Delhi, Jun 2: After a long gestation period of almost four years, the draft of the National Education Policy (NEP) was finally submitted to the Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of State for HRD, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre in New Delhi on May 31st, 2019. The committee which drafted and presented the policy was led by Chairman Dr. Kasturirangan.
The daft NEP focuses on equipping students with required skills and knowledge; elimination of the manpower shortage in science, technology, academics and industry. It is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.
NEP has been built on the pillars of Access, Equity, Affordability and Accountabilty
The Kasturirangan Committee has proposed 19 major changes in the draft NEP which are listed as follows:
- Renaming of MHRD as Ministry of Education (MoE).
- Making Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) an integral part of school education
- Extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18. A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children.
- Easing content load in school curriculum.
- No hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra- curricular areas. All subjects; including arts, music, etc.; to be curricular.
- Promoting active pedagogy focussing on development of core capacities and life skills, including 21st century skills.
- Massive transformation in teacher education by shutting down sub-standard institutions and moving all teacher education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
- 4-year integrated B.Ed. programme to eventually become minimum degree qualification for teachers.
A major proposal includes segregation of HEIs into three categories, each with separate focus areas
- Restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of institutions: the first type focussing on world-class research and teaching; second type to focus on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research and the third type to focus on undergraduate education.
- Re-structuring of undergraduate programs to have multiple exit and entry options.
- A new apex body- Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog- proposed to enable holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and coordinate Central and State efforts.
- Proposal to have a National Research Foundation for creating strong research culture and capacity.
- Four core functions of standard setting, funding, accreditation and regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies. National Higher Education Regulatory Authority to be the only regulator for all higher education including professional education.
- Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC.
- Professional Standard Setting Bodies and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
- Private and public institutions to be treated at par. Education to remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.
- Several new policy initiatives to promote internationalization of higher education and enhancement in participation of under-represented groups, elimination of gender, social and regional gaps in education outcomes recommended.
- Setting up national institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit.
- Setting up of an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI).
The draft is available on the official website of MHRD and suggestions could be submitted by anyone within a month.