India is the biggest democratic country in the world with 136 crores of population. India is considered to be young India as at least 65% of the population is below the age of 32 years. Abdul Kalam the then President of India quote that India will attain super power status provided its human resources are properly restructured with their knowledge, skill and ability. The country evolves the policy of education mainly to promote quality education to its people. For this purpose, the country promulgated the first new education policy in 1968 during the regime of Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister. Later on, the education system was revisited in 1986 during the tenure, Rajiv Gandhi the then Prime Minister of the country. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad India`s first Minister of Education categorically stated that there is a need for the Central Government to control education throughout the country. The higher education institutions were governed by the University Education Commission (1948–1949), the Secondary Education Commission (1952–1953), university Grants Commission and the Kothari Commission (1964–66) These commissions have made humble attempts to modernize education system in India. The first Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru contributed for the establishment of IIT’s and NCERT to impart quality education and govern quality education respectively.
In 1992, P.V. Narasimha Rao government revisited the 1986 National Policy on Education. In 2005, Manmohan Singh government declared to conduct entrance examination to professional and technical programs of the Center and the State by JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and SLEEE(State Level Engineering Entrance Examinations respectively). The purpose is to ease out the burden on students and their parents as they were under compulsion to appear for multiplicity of examinations.
Education Policy- 2019
Realizing the importance of quality education for the human resources, the country led by NarendraModi, the Prime Minister had constituted a committee on New Education Policy. The committee chaired by Kasturirangan the former chairman of ISRO, comprised of other members viz. Prof. VasudhaKamat, Prof. ManjulBhargava, Dr. Ram Shankar Kureel, Prof. T. V. Kattimani, Sri Krishna Mohan Tripathy, Prof. MazharAsif, Prof. M. K. Sridhar, and Secretary Dr. Shakila T. Shamsu. The committee which was constituted in 2017, took 2 years to interact with various stake holders finalize the reports. In 2019, the report had been submitted to the present for Human Resource Development Sri. Ramesh Pokhriyal. The new education policy ensures quality education in the country from 2020-2040. The education policy revolves under 5 pillars of education- Access, Equity, Quality, Accountability, and Affordability. After studying the report edunews highlighted the following as unique features
- Present MHRD will be renamed as Ministry of Education (MoE).
- The load of the school curriculum will be restructured.
- The segregation of present curricular and co- curricular will vanish.
- Arts, craft, music, sports, yoga, etc. are the subjects which comes under curricular subjects
- Pedagogical and curricular structure with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a part of school education
- All the Indian 8 classical languages will be promoted besides creating national institutes for promoting Persian, Pali, and Prakrit at national level
- National Research Education will come up, as an apex body mainly to promote research culture at various stages of higher education.
- Present UGC will become Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC), and professional standard bodies will come up to cater to the needs of Professional Education.
- There will be no distinction between private and public institutions
- Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) will come up
- Rights to Education, earlier fixed upto 14 years, address the age group of 3-18 years.
- Core capabilitiesand life skills for 21st-century will be a part of pedagogy
- The minimum degree of the teachers Education will be 4-years instead of present 2 years. Probably, M. Ed and B. Ed will get integrated
- Institutes for Teachers Education should be of high standard; therefore, institutes compromising with standards will be ruthlessly closed. The present degree program of 2 or 4 years duration will be overcalled with multiple entry and exit option.
- 3 language formulas will come into force with flexibility and foreign language will be a part of secondary education.
- Higher education institutions will be re-structured:
- Focus on world-class research and high-quality teaching
- High-quality teaching across disciplineswith a special focus on research.
- High- quality teaching for undergraduate education under mission Nalanda and mission Takshashila
- NAAC will be revamped with accredited eco system
- The affairs of higher education will be under the ambit of National Higher Education Regulatory Authority which will regulate higher education and professional education
- The committees recommend new policy initiatives such as the elimination of social category, gender, and regional gaps, internationalizing higher education, introducing technological integration of education at all levels, and strengthening open and distance learning.
- Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog will be put in place to coordinate the efforts of the centre and the states, and to integrate all education initiatives under single umbrella.
- Credibility of education under new policy is subjected to review periodically say once in 5 years.
- Under the policy more focus will be accorded on research, innovation, infrastructure, and technology, so that children can feel that the country will become super power after 20 years.
- On the whole, the New Education Policy is a gateway to build robust educational eco system for the country.
- The Policy provides for reforms from pre-primary education to higher education. It focuses on early childhood care, reform the present exam system, strengthen teachers training, and restructure the education regulatory framework. Further, it will pave the way for National Education Commission, increase public investment in education, adopt technology and give thrust on vocational and adult education and so on.
Early Childhood Care and Education: The Drafting Committee of New Education Policy has made an attempt to address the problem of access and quality in the existing early childhood learning programmes. The committee has taken note of the problems inter alia:
- Curriculum does not meet the developmental needs of the children
- Lack of qualified and trained teachers
- Substandard pedagogy
- The present system of childhood education is delivered through anganwadis and private preschools but they have given less focus on the educational aspects. In order to address the problem, the policy –
- Aims to universalize the pre-primary education by 2025 and provide foundation literacy for all by that time.
- Proposes new curricular and pedagogical structure with the design of 5+3+3+4 covering the children in the age group of 3-18 years.
- Under this, pre-primary and grade 1-2 is regarded as Foundational Stage; grade 3-5 as Preparatory Stage; grades 6-8 as Middle Stage and grades 9-12 as Secondary Stage.
- The committee advocated the restructuring of academic aspects only, but not physical restructuring of the schools.
- The committee focused on equitable and inclusive education for every child with special reference of the children under-represented group (URGs).
- The committee hinted that universal access and retention will undoubtedly promote 100% gross enrolment ratio for all school education by 2030.
- They opined that children learn languages quickly between 2-8 years; therefore suggested multilingualism with 3 language formula.
- The report also emphasized on teaching of other classical languages and literature including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Pali, Persian and Prakrit in the schools.
- The committee also impressed upon the Government to create a new independent State School Regulatory Authority (SSRA).
- Under RTE, compulsory education is imparted free of cost to the children from the age group of 6-14 years. The committee recommended that under the Act, all children between the ages of 3-18 years need to get free and compulsory education.
- The draft policy recommends that no detention policy under RTE needs to be reviewed; however the committee felt that it is the responsibility of the schools to ensure that the children achieving age-appropriate learning levels objectively.
- The structure of the school education needs to be restructured based on the development of students. For this purpose, the committee recommends-
- 5+3+3+4 design should be strictly implemented
- 5 years of Foundational Stage which include 3 years pre-primary school and class 1 & 2
- 3 years of Preparatory Stage which include classes 3-5
- 3 years of Middle Age which covers classes 6-8
- 4 years of Secondary Stage which apparently cover classes 9-12
- The committee recommends that the curriculum load in each stage needs to be reduced to essential core content for holistic discussion and analysis based learning.
- The committee having observed the system of current board examination, pointed out clearly that the system exert pressure on the students to concentrate only on few subjects, tests do not focus on learning in formative manner and cause more stress among students.In order to address this problem, the committee recommends-
- To introduce state census examination in classes 3, 5 and 8.
- To restructure board examination to test only core concepts, skills and high order capacities.
- The in-school final examination may be replaced by the board examinations.
- The committee has appreciated the efforts of the government in increasing access to education.
- The government has set up schools in every habitation across the country, but low enrolment of students in each school cost heavy strain on the exchequer.
- In order to address this problem, new education policy recommends-
- The multiple public school system under school complex.
- A complex consists of one secondary school covering classes 9-12 and all the public schools in its neighborhood, which offer education from pre-primary level till class 8.
- The complex covers anganwadis, vocational education and adult education centers.
- Each complex will have semi-autonomous unit providing integrated education from early childhood to secondary education.
- The above measures will ensure that the resources in terms of infrastructure and trained teachers can be optimally and effectively utilized in the school complex.
- The committee has taken note of the problems in schools, which include steep rise in teacher’s shortage, lack of professionally qualified teachers, deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes (cooking mid-day meals, participating in vaccination campaign / census and such other work assigned by the government). The committee observed that all these had to have direct bearing on the quality of teaching – learning process. In order to resolve this problem, the committee recommends –
- Teachers should be deployed with a particular school complex for at least 5-7 years.
- Such teachers shall not be engaged in any non-teaching activities as adduced.
- The present B.Ed programme is designed for 2 years, which literally stumbled to accelerate professional capability of the teachers. Realizing the problem, the committee recommend that –
- The present B.Ed programme needs to be integrated with high quality content, pedagogy and practical training for 4 years.
- Such teachers have to undergo a minimum of 50 hours of continuous professional development training every year.
- Need to create 5 lakh vacancies to fill qualified and professional teachers to cope with challenges.
- The committee suggests creating state-school regulatory authority for each state which will prescribe uniform standards for public and private schools. The committee also recommends that the department of education of the state continue to formulate policy besides monitory and supervision.
- The present access to higher education is around 26% which the committee aims to increase to 50% by 2035.Out of 26% GER in higher education, only 10.8% of the population successfully completes their education and the rest stumbles due to high cost of education.
- The committee has observed that there are multiple regulatory authorities to take care of higher education system in the country. Multiple regulators reduce autonomy of higher educational institutions, besides dependency on centralized decisions. It may be noted that there are multiple regulators include UGC, Indian Medical Council, AICTE, ACI, PCI, ICAR, Indian Design Council, Bar Council of India, etc.The committee strongly recommends to replace all multiple regulators by National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA). The committee strongly felt that NHERA takes care of general, technical, professional and vocational education system in the country.
- To separate National Assessment and Accreditation Council from UGC and make it functions as an independent and autonomous body. The committee while observing the fact that there are about 1000 universities and 45000 colleges in higher education, pointed out that NAAC could not complete its task within the time. Therefore, recommend that NAAC as a top level accreditor will issue license to different academic institutions. The committee further recommends that all educational institutions should be accredited by 2030.
- Higher Educational Institutions / Universities can be set up through the permission from higher education institutions charter of NHERA. At present, higher educational institutions demand the nod from the parliament or state legislature.
- All the higher education institutions shall be accredited by the NAAC within 5 years of being established.
- Higher education institutions will work in 3 types, so as to enable them to achieve full autonomy by way of academic, administrative and financial-
- Research universities focusing equally on teaching and research
- Teaching universities focusing on teaching only
- Colleges focusing on teaching only at undergraduate level
- The investment on research and innovations in India is declined considerably; the present rate is 0.48 of GDP which needs to be increased substantially at par with China, USA, Israel, etc. More funds are required to be committed on research and innovation so as to achieve more patents.
- The policy recommends establishing a National Research Foundation as an autonomous body for funding, mentoring and building the capacity for quality research in the country.The foundation will work with an annual grant of Rs. 20,000 crores, which is equivalent to 0.1% of GDP. The committee advocate that the foundation operate in 4 major divisions with provision of additional divisions if required-
- Social Sciences
- Arts and Humanities
- Undergraduate programmes will be interdisciplinary, for which committee recommends to include-
- A common core curriculum
- 1 or 2 specialization, which students have to study as major and optional as minor
- The present system of 3 years undergraduate programme will go away; instead 4 years undergraduate programme in Liberal Arts will step in, with the provision of multiple exit option and appropriate certification.The report hinted that five Indian Institute of Liberal Arts will come up as model multidisciplinary liberal art institutions.
- The panel observed that the faculty working in various departments of higher educational institutions has low motivation due to poor infrastructure and heavy teaching load. Lack of autonomy is a hindrance for career progression, even for the faculty. In order to address this problem, the committee recommends-
- Continuous professional development program
- Introduction of permanent employment (tenure) track system to be achieved by 2030
- Student-teacher ratio of 30:1
- Realizing the problem of autonomy to design curricula and its negative impact on pedagogy, the committee recommends that higher educational institutions / universities must be given complete autonomy on curricular, pedagogical and resource related aspects.
- The present system of governance in education demands proper coordination among the different departments, ministries and agencies. UGC / AICTE, PCI / ACI/, ICAR, etc. need to interact with various ministries, departments and agencies which is cumbersome and time-consuming. Realizing the problem, the committee recommend-
- Creation of Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog, also known as National Education Commission as an Apex body for education in the country.
- The commission headed by the Prime Minister will have representation from various constituents.This organisation will be responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating and revising of vision of education in the country on a continuous basis to achieve sustainability. Further the commission will oversee the operations of NCERT, NHERA and NRF (National Research Foundation).
- The present MHRD to be renamed as Ministry of Education to focus on Education in the country.
Resources are the biggest constraint for quality education in India. The country is able to spend 2.7% of GDP on education which is considered to be negligible, compared to USA (5%), UK (5.5%), Brazil (6%), Germany (5.75%), and Russia (6.25%) and so on. Realizing the negative impact of low spending on education, the committee recommend-
- To spend 6% of the GDP as public investment in education.
- Double the public investment in education from current 10% of total expenditure to 20% in the next ten years.
- Of the additional 10% expenditure, 5% will be for higher education, 3% to bear the cost of teachers / resources in school education and 2% for early childhood care and education.
- Timely utilization of funds for the institutional development and execution of plans of education
Technology in Education
- The committee has observed the imperative need of technology in education to ensure quality teaching-learning and evaluation process. Technology is an integral part of education in professional development of teachers, augmenting access to education to remote and for disadvantage group and also improving overall planning, administration and management of education system. The committee has taken note of the fact that many institutions across the country suffer the quality teaching-learning due to electricity problem. The committee therefore recommend-
- Electrification of all educational institutions
- Technology based intervention
- The panel has taken note of the problem of laboratories; therefore recommend –
- Virtual laboratories to provide remote access to laboratories in various disciplines
- Set up a n=National Education Technology Forum as an autonomous body which facilitates decision making on the induction, deployment and use of technology. This forum provides evidence based advice to the government on technology based intervention.
- Start a national repository on educational data to maintain records of the institutions / teachers / students in digital mode
- A single online digital repository will be created where copyright free educational resources will be available in multiple languages
It is a well-known fact that the students in education hardly receive vocational related knowledge and skill. In fact it is not even 5% of students receive vocational education. The countries such as USA, Germany, Japan, and Russia, it is 52%, 75%, 82% and 78% respectively. In order to address this problem, the committee recommends-
- Integrating vocational education programme in all educational institutions in a phased manner over a period of 10 years
- All school students must receive vocational education in at least one vocation in grades 9-12. The proposed school complex must be equipped with experts in curriculum delivery of the requisite skills under National Skill Qualification Framework.
- Universities should offer vocational integrated undergraduate programmes. The panel aims to offer vocational education upto 50% of the total enrolment by 2025 (at present it is below 10%)
- Separate fund will be set up for integration of vocational education into educational institutions.
The committee has taken note of the fact that a total of 27 crores adult are non literates in the country. In an effort to make them literate, the committee recommends-
- A Central Institute of Adult Education, an autonomous body under NCERT. This center takes care of the curriculum of adult education.
- The center will cover foundational literacy and numeracy, critical life skill, vocational skill development, basic education and continuing education.
- Adult Education center will come up in the proposed school complex. Proper human resources will be provided to administer adult education courses of national institute of open schooling to the concerned.
Education and Indian Languages
Many students fail to attend the classes due to the fact that they do not understand the language in which it is taught. The committee recommends –
- Medium of instruction be home language or mother tongue or local language till grade 5, and preferably till grade 8
- Three language formula be continued and flexibility in the implementation be provided
- Implementation of three language formula needs to be strengthened to achieve national integration
- Provide flexibility to the students in the choice of language in grade 6 or 7
- Establish National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit to promote Indian languages.
- The higher education institute must recruit high quality faculty for at least three Indian languages in addition to local Indian language.
As already stated, the committee aims to achieve 50% of GER in higher education by 2035. The committee understands that the conventional system of education alone may not deliver the goods, therefore recommended to focus on open and distance learning as well.
- Transforming the quality of open and distance learning to enrich the potentiality
- Leveraging open and distance learning for improving access to quality learning experience.
- Both conventional and ODL learning modes to be offered by type 1 and type 2 institutions.
- Online digital repository
- Funding for research to improve quality for open distance learning
- Support services for students enrolled in ODL
- Capacity building for expertise in ODL
- MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), a form of education in ODL and so on.
Internationalization of Higher Education
The country must attract students from other countries to participate in the higher education programme. India has had an illustrious history in the internationalization of Higher Education. The world’s first university Takshashila and University of Nalanda were able to attract scholars from China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan , Persia, Turkey and other parts of the world. At present there is an approximate of 45000 international students in Indian higher educational institutions; thereby making India the 26th ranked country among top destination for international student mobility. The committee felt that this is lesser than 1% of global international student mobility. Realizing the problem, the committee recommends-
- Internationally relevant education to make overseas students global citizens
- Encouraging institutional collaborations for twinning programmes
- Facilitating entry of international students and researchers
- Faculty mobility between Indian and foreign universities
- Strategic partnership between universities in India and abroad to expand research collaboration
- Inviting foreign universities into India to impart global standard education
- Student exchange in which Indian students may have global experience through short term duration visit to reputed universities abroad.
Government of India has decided to implement the new education policy from August 2020. For this purpose, the finance minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has earmarked around Rs 99500 crores which may be marginal for the effective implementation of the recommendations.
New education policy apparently creates new hopes about the quality education commencing from pre-primary education to higher education. Restructuring of academic, deployment of quality teachers, autonomy, adequate infrastructure with ICT enabled, unified regulatory body, renaming of the Ministry, internationalization of higher education fragrance, focus on adult education and vocational education may help the country to achieve global standard of education. Edunews is confident that the country will achieve the global standard of education.