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NEP aims to bring two crore out of school children into mainstream

ANI | Updated: Jul 30, 2020 01:51 IST


New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 on Wednesday which aims to bring about two crore out of school children into the mainstream.
It says that no language will be imposed on any student and several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level.
The major reforms in school education brought by NEP 2020 include Universalization of Early Childhood Care Education (ECCE), national mission to focus on basic literacy and basic numeracy, no rigid separation between arts and sciences streams and removal of separation between vocational and academic and curricular and extra-curricular.
The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
NEP 2020 aims to provide infrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream besides tracking of students and their learning levels, facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes and association of counsellors or well-trained social workers with schools.
"About two crore out of school children will be brought back into the mainstream under NEP 2020. Open learning for classes 3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programs are some of the proposed ways for achieving this," an official release said.
With an emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the 10+2 structure of school curriculum is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for the development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling, the release said.
NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8.
"ECCE will be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of institutions including Anganwadis and pre-schools that will have teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs," it said.
Recognizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, NEP 2020 suggests setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
"States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025. A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated," it said.

Under NEP 2020, there will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.
The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
"Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. Other classical languages and literature of India also to be available as options," it said.
No language will be imposed on any student under NEP 2020.
"Students to participate in a fun project/activity on 'The Languages of India', sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' initiative. Several foreign languages will also be offered at the secondary level. Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment," it said.
NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity.
"All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim. A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body," the release said.
The policy aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background. Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.
"This includes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups. Every state/district will be encouraged to establish "Bal Bhavans" as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras," the release said.
NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policymaking, regulation, operations and academic matters. States/UTs will set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA).
"Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability. The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders," it said.
This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the thirty-four-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. The draft of the NEP was designed by a panel headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan and submitted to the Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal when he took charge last year. (ANI)

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