The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29 July 2020, outlines the vision of the new education system of India. It replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986. The vision of the policy is to build an education system rooted in Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India by providing high-quality education to all, thereby making India a global knowledge superpower.
Highlights of National Education Policy (NEP 2020) for school education
- Focus on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) & Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)
- Curtailing dropouts and ensuring universal access at all levels of school education
- Learning Should be Holistic, Integrated, Enjoyable, and Engaging
- Teacher Empowerment
- Equitable and Inclusive Education: Learning for All
- Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education
- Adoption of pedagogically sound teaching & learning practices
- Adoption of technology in teaching, learning and assessments
THE NEW 5+3+3+4 ACADEMIC STRUCTURE
10+2 refers to two years of schooling post grade 10. According to India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, 10+2 schooling system in India is set to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 system.
Here is the age-wise breakdown of the different levels of the school education system based on the new education policy 2020
1. 5 years of Foundational Stage:
- For ages: 3 to 8
- For classes: Anganwadi/pre-school, class 1, class 2
- This stage will focus on teaching in play-based or activity-based methods and on the development of language skills.
2. 3 years of Preparatory Stage:
- For ages: 8 to 11
- For classes: 3 to 5
- The focus in the preparatory stage will remain on language development and numeracy skills. Here, the method of teaching and learning would be play and activity-based, and also include classroom interactions and the element of discovery.
3. 3 years of Middle Stage:
- For ages: 11 to 14
- For classes: 6 to 8
- As per NEP 2020, this stage of school education will focus on critical learning objectives, which is a big shift from the rote learning methods used in our education system for years. This stage will work on experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences and humanities.
4. 4 years of Secondary Stage:
- For ages: 14 to 18
- For classes: 9 to 12
- This stage will cover two phases: Classes 9 and 10, and classes 11 and 12. Concepts will be covered in greater depth in this stage.
As per the National Education Policy 2020, Exams will also be made ‘easier’. They will test primarily core competencies to eliminate the “Coaching Culture”.
Students will be allowed to take Board Exams twice in any given year, to eliminate the high stakes of board exams.
In accordance with the New Education Policy 2020, board exams in certain subjects could be redesigned. Board exam questions to have two types:
- Objective type with multiple-choice questions
- Descriptive type
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will offer a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialized common subject exams in various subjects, at least a twice every year as prep for entrance examinations.
THE 3 LANGUAGE POLICY
The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has emphasised on the use of mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction till Class 5 while recommending its continuance till Class 8 and beyond. It recommends that all students will learn three languages in their school under the formula. The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of course the students themselves. However, at least two of the three languages should be native to India, one of which is most likely to be the local/ regional language. The rule will apply to both private and public schools. High-quality textbooks, including science, will be made available in-home languages. In cases where home-language textbook material is not available, the language between the teachers and students will still remain the home language wherever possible.
The National Education Policy 2020 encourages teachers to use a bilingual approach, including bilingual teaching-learning materials, with those students whose home language may be different from the medium of instruction.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is National Education Policy 2020 (NEP)?
- National Education Policy 2020 was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on July 29th 2020. It outlines the vision of a new education system for India. The policy replaces the previous National Policy on Education, 1986.
- What is the main aim of National Education Policy (NEP 2020)?
The main aim of the new education policy is to envision an education system that contributes directly to transforming India into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high-quality education to all, and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower.
- What is the meaning of 10+2 and 5+3+3+4 in the National Education Policy 2020?
10+2 refers to two years of schooling post grade 10. According to India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, 10+2 schooling system in India is set to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 system. Please read the detailed breakdown above.
What are the salient features of National Education Policy (NEP 2020)?
Here are some of the key highlights of National Education Policy 2020, related to school education:
- Ensuring Universal Access at All Levels of schooling from pre-primary school to Grade 12
- Ensuring quality early childhood care and education for all children between 3-6 years;
- New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure (5+3+3+4)
- No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, and between vocational and academic streams
- Establishing National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
- Emphasis on promoting multilingualism and Indian languages; The medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language.
- Assessment reforms – Board Exams on up to two occasions during any given school year.
- Setting up of a new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development)
- Equitable and inclusive education – Special emphasis given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs)
- A separate Gender Inclusion fund and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
- Robust and transparent processes for recruitment of teachers and merit-based performance
- Ensuring availability of all resources through school complexes and clusters
- Setting up of State School Standards Authority (SSSA)
- Exposure of vocational education in school and higher education system.
- Increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 50%
- Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education with multiple entry/exit options.