The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), which is going to revolutionize the education structure in the country, is a mixed reaction among teachers to the changes that are going to take place in the education system in India. Former head of the Indian Space Research Organization and former chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Dr. K. NEP 2020, formed by an expert committee chaired by Kasturirangan, has created a huge stir in the education sector in the country. Specific changes in the new education policy. While one group of experts believes it is necessary, others describe it as ‘impractical and irrational’.
The major change in the new school education policy introduced by the Central Government is to change the existing 10 + 2 year school education structure to 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 years and to conduct state level examinations for students in classes 3, 5, 8 and 12. According to the new school structure, the first four years of pre-primary education, which includes children between the ages of three and eight, will be considered as the basic level of education. Children between the ages of nine and 11 are classified as ‘preparatory level’, those between the ages of 12 and 14 as ‘middle school’ level, and those between the ages of 15 and 18 as ‘high school’ level. With this, the relevance of the existing Class X examination will be lost.
BS Rishikesh, Associate Professor, Azim Premji School of Education, welcomes the proposal to change the basic structure of school education in the country. Although the current teaching methods and curriculum have changed many times, the current education system that the country is still pursuing is over 300 years old. Brain development in children between the ages of three and eight is very rapid. NEP 2020 aims to strengthen the foundation of a child’s education, not teaching, in this day and age. Therefore, Rishikesh thinks that it will benefit children between the ages of three and eight.
“Currently, nothing is being done to develop the creativity of children during the primary education period from class one to four. He hopes the new policy will change this situation and help children develop social awareness and creativity. When classes 3 to 5 are set aside to ensure basic literacy in language and numbers. He adds that tumors at the preparatory level may have reached the age of maturity to contain it. Students in grades six to eight, a middle school level that includes people between the ages of 12 and 14, will have the opportunity to learn comprehensively when they begin a comprehensive study of the subject, and by the time they reach the ‘high school’ level by the age of 15. This means that learning will be enjoyable for children and will help them develop their creativity
Opinion of a group of educators like Rishikesh.
However, not everyone is as optimistic about NEP-2020 as Rishikesh. Anita Rampal, former dean of the faculty of education at Delhi University, says the current system is good. Childhood education is conducted under various methods and schemes such as Balwadi and Anganwadi. In addition, there is a tendency in India, a developing country, to focus on the health of children from poor backgrounds and to address malnutrition rather than education. NEP 2020 does not say how the new education policy will take effect and how the future of millions of Anganwadi teachers and how will be taken care of the health of childrens. She also said that the existing child and Anganwadi workers may not receive the necessary training to manage the expected NEP 2020 level of education. Therefore, the chances of children reaching the target level of NEP 2020 will be reduced. “Professional development of teachers who teach young children requires more intense and extensive training. For that, teachers need to be more prepared. Anita Rampal points out that the education policy does not mention how the government plans for this. There is no point in combining the existing pre-primary sections with classes 1 and 2, ”Anita points out.
A section of educators also strongly opposes the idea of conducting public examinations for students as proposed in NEP 2020. They argue that central assessment is not required in exams in classes 3, 5 and 8. Teachers who teach children are the ones who are most able to evaluate their students. Because they are the closest to children. The government needs to take teachers into confidence in this regard. According to the former Delhi University faculty, good teacher education programs are crucial to enable teachers to make big changes in the school education system. Therefore, agencies such as the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCRT) and the Department of Education in all states need to work harder to develope the exams systems. The centralized examination system in the lower classes only means it will not achieve the goal of NEP, says Anita.