10 plus 2 goes, no rigid separation of streams
New Delhi, July 29
The government today approved landmark reforms to school and college education to prepare Indian students for a 21st century world where critical thinking will determine the future of nations.
The National Policy on Education (NPE)-2020 approved by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi replaces a 34-year-old policy and bids farewell to rote learning. The focus is on new curricular structures to inculcate scientific temper and mathematical thinking in students; allow multiple entry and exit across higher education levels; establish a single higher education regulator replacing UGC, AICTE and NCTE; cap fees in colleges and universities; expand school education to cover 3 to 6-year-olds; and end rigid separation of arts-science and curricular and extracurricular streams at school.
A major decision also is to rename HRD Ministry as the Ministry of Education.
The NPE-2020 makes school education compulsory from 3 years through “early childhood care and education” (ECCE) component for which the NCERT will draft a play-based curriculum. Children aged 3 to 6 years are currently covered by informal anganwaris under the Women and Child Development Ministry.
The new policy replaces 10+2 curricular structure with 5+3+3+4 system corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years, respectively.
“Three years of pre-primary (covering 3 to 6-year-old) will have an NCERT play- based curriculum focused on foundational literacy; classes 6 to 8 will see subject introduction with multi-disciplinary approach; in classes 9 to 12 there will be no separations between arts and sciences or curricular and extracurricular activities, vocational or academic streams, as we see today. Students can study physics with fashion designing and baking with chemistry. There will be full flexibility,” Secretary, School Education, Anita Karwal said, adding that the curriculum will be limited to essential concepts so that children have the time to think and learn. Here the curricular structure is fashioned on the western model of play-based creative learning.
NPE 2020 also introduces coding and vocational courses from Grade 6 at school to ensure each student would have learnt one vocational skill by the time he leaves school. “The new school curriculum and teacher training curriculum will be drafted and the focus would be scientific temper and mathematical thinking,” Karwal said. Students will also have the option of self-assessment in a new report card scheme the NPE 2020 provides.
In an ambitious goal, NPE 2020 seeks to expand access to higher education for 50 per cent of high school students by 2035 as against 26.3 pc in 2018.
It allows multiple entry and exits across college through academic credit banks. This means if a student wants to opt out of college after two years of study he can do so and when he returns within a specific time to resume studies, he won’t need to repeat the previous two years.
HRD is now edu ministry
National Research Foundation on lines of US National Science Foundation
Single regulator for higher institutions; multiple entry, exit options in degree courses
MPhil discontinued; low-stakes board exams
Common entrance exams for varsities, colleges
Regional language medium of instruction up to Class V
e-courses in 8 languages
Public investment to be raised from 4.43 to 6 pc GDP
5+3+3+4 school curriculum to replace 10+2 system
Formal schooling for kids aged 3 to 6; foundational stage (3-8 year olds) to have play-based learning
Preparatory stage (8-11 years) will see experiential learning
Middle stage (11-14 years) to see subject-oriented learning
Secondary stage (14-18 year olds) will have no separation of streams
Coding and vocational courses from Class VI