New Education Policy: Single regulator and Multidisciplinary system in higher education approved, flexibility of subjects offered
New Education Policy (NEP) has been approved by NDA (National Democratic Alliance) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting the decision was taken regarding the new policy. Draft of NEP 2019 was publicized last year in June, after which suggestions from stakeholders, including the public, were invited by the government for which deadline was July 31, 2019. There were strong oppositions over various recommendations in policy like three-language formula, board examinations for Classes V and VIII, B.Ed programme for four years. Post that the Union Ministry has made some amendments in the draft.
Proposals and Changes for Higher Education
The NEP has approved multidisciplinary system in higher education. The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry announced in the press meet of policy release on Wednesday that this decision was made to increase enrolment in higher education courses by 50% by 2035. For this objective multidisciplinary and holistic education would be allowed along with flexibility of subjects, said HRD Secretary Amit Khare.
According to the new policy there would be a single regulator – the Higher Education Council of India (HECI) – which will function as single common regulator for entire higher education sector, inclusive of teacher education.
The ministry said that the aim of NEP is “broad-based, flexible learning”. It said that conventional institutes like technical education which offer a single stream must be phased out. All universities and institutions must aim towards becoming multidisciplinary education centres by 2030.
Proposals have also been made to reintroduce the 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with a provision of multiple exits. Eliminating the MPhil programme has also been proposed. Under the new policy to pursue PhD, a Master’s degree or 4 year Bachelor’s degree with research would be required.
According to School Education Secretary Anita Karwal, there are some groundbreaking reforms in policy. Under the policy, universalization of early childhood care education has been introduced, for which NCERT will develop the curriculum. Foundation of National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy has been included. Middle school will now have subject introduction and exploration. A very inviting reform is introduction of coding Class VI onwards. All subjects will be taught, including music. No rigid separation between different streams like arts and science would be there. Curricular and extra-curricular activities will be given similar importance. Vocational integration will start form Class VI with internships, which can be done in 10 days.
Medium of instruction to be mother tongue or regional language till Class V, but preferably till Class VIII. Report cards to have assessment by teachers as well as self-assessment by students.
Expenditure on Education
NEP envisages the education expenditure to increase to 6% of GDP from current 4%. For this Central and State governments will work in collaboration.