National Education Policy 2020: Roadmap for smooth implementation of reforms – education
With the launch of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, India’s education system truly ushered in the 21st century. The last educational reform took place in 1986, 34 years before this one. Hence, NEP 2020 is being hailed as the much needed re-imagination of the Indian education system.
However, the implementation of the policy requires the active participation of all stakeholders and a clear roadmap. Recognizing this, the Ministry of Education invited suggestions from school teachers, principals, and others involved in the implementation of NEP 2020.
So, here are some suggestions that will help you smoothly implement NEP 2020:
Higher expense: NEP 2020 largely plays all the right chords, but for the perfect symphony, the implementation must match the policy on the items. To begin with, spending in the education sector should increase substantially for the correct implementation of NEP 2020. The policy calls for spending 6% of our GDP, but it should also be noted that the Kothari Commission had suggested the same in 50 years ago.
While wealthy western states are likely to emerge as quick adapters, eastern states may find it financially difficult to implement policy in letter and spirit.
National Council of Education: In an attempt to overcome this problem of inequality between states, the Center may establish a National Education Council along the lines of the GST council. This council can have representation of all interested parties (public and private) together with the ministers of education of the state.
The Government of India is the policy maker, regulator and implementer of the education sector. This makes it a highly politicized situation. Some changes are likely to be unanimously accepted, while some may face problems due to issues ranging from culture to politics. The formation of a National Education Council, as suggested above, will be crucial to address these issues and ensure a smooth path for the implementation of the reform policy.
Private schools: Another prerequisite for the success of NEP 2020 is to focus on private schools. In India, every educational reform is carried out with public schools in mind. However, a policy as ambitious as NEP 2020 is unlikely to actually benefit the nation without the active participation of private institutions.
NEP also places great emphasis on technology. To solemnize the association of education with technology, Tier II and Tier III cities must have better digital infrastructure. Additionally, there is a cost associated with providing digital classrooms, AR / VR tools, well-equipped labs, and others.
However, a significant percentage of public schools and ‘cheap private schools’ lack the necessary infrastructure to offer multidisciplinary subjects and extracurricular activities envisaged by the NEP. In such a case, well-equipped schools must take the lead in implementing the reform. Meanwhile, small institutions must be supported in every way to penetrate the maximum number of students.
Replicate successful models: India is not far from achieving its goal of providing universal access to primary education. However, an individual cannot acquire any job skills from him. Therefore, the focus should shift to secondary education. In this process, we can replicate the model of successful public and private schools. Common factors behind the success of these schools include: well-trained teachers, excellent academic and co-curricular infrastructure, and active participation in academic and co-curricular activities, among others.
A good example would be Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV), which has been instrumental in promoting talented students, predominantly from rural India. The results published by JNV have been consistently better than other state and central schools. More such schools will be the key to better implementation of NEP 2020. In fact, the Uttarakhand government has already given its go-ahead to the creation of Atal Utkrisht model schools in all 95 blocks of the state.
For India to measure up to the level of education of developed western nations, the country also needs more Institutes of Excellence. A budget provision for the same was also made when the late Arun Jaitley Ji was the Finance Minister of India. These institutes will provide a platform for students to not only excel in education but also in research and innovation.
Elaborate strategy: The large number of education reforms mentioned in NEP 2020 need the support of a policy framework. For example, a strategy is crucial to convert the existing 10 + 2 model into a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 framework that covers 3-18 year olds. Similarly, NEP 2020 highlights the threat of dropout, but does not explain how the government will solve problems, such as poverty, availability and accessibility, that are the main causes of a child leaving education midway. .
In several states, committees are being created to implement the policy. Recently, two panels were formed in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of NEP 2020.
Fighting Covid-19: The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak is probably the biggest challenge on the road to NEP implementation today. With heavy losses, institutions are struggling to provide the level of learning that they used to provide in previous years. Many private schools have not been able to pay their teachers full salary due to greatly reduced fee payments. Therefore, there is an urgent need for state governments and the Center to reach out not only to state schools but also to private ones so that no student is left without a quality education.
Last but definitely not least, the success of NEP 2020 cannot be instantaneous. It will take years of successful implementation to transform India’s education sector and pave the way for more skilled and efficient professionals in the future. The adoption of NEP 2020 is undoubtedly a coming of age reform; all you need now is sustained execution.
(The author Bharat Goyal is the founder and director of Bhartiyam International School. The opinions expressed here are personal).