The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to a new National Education Policy (NEP) aimed to bring about several changes in the education system from the school to college level.
Addressing a press conference, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare said that following the new education policy and reforms, the country will achieve a 50 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2035.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said: "It is important because there was no change in the education policy in the past 34 years." Meanwhile, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been renamed the Ministry of Education.
The policy, which was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992, had not been revised since then. The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD Ministry to Education Ministry.
Among the key reforms in the policy are a single regulator for all higher education institutions except for legal and medical colleges, common entrance exam for admissions to universities and colleges to be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and common norms to be in place for private and public higher education institutions under the Central government's new Education Policy.
Elaborating on the reforms in school education, HRD Secretary Anita Karwal said, “Board exams will be low stake. The focus will be on testing concepts and knowledge application. Home language, mother tongue or regional language to be medium of instruction up to Class V.”
She further said “school curriculum will be reduced to core concepts and there will be integration of vocational education from Class VI”.
The government said it will now follow a multi-disciplinary approach. If a student wants to pursue fashion studies with physics, or if one wants to learn bakery with chemistry, they'll be allowed to do so.
Besides this, PARAKH — Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis for Holistic Development — will form the standard, norm and guidelines for the schools so that it reaches the benchmark. Schools will have transparent online systems for self-disclosure for public oversight and accountability.
The new education policy was part of the BJP’s manifesto ahead of the 2014 General Election.
Outcomes of the National Education Policy will be universalisation of education from primary to secondary by 2030, attaining foundational learning and numeracy skills by 2025, 100 per cent gross enrolment ratio by 2030, and two crore school children joining back. Agencies
- Union Cabinet approves renaming of HRD Ministry as Education Ministry.
- Board exams to be based on knowledge application.
- MPhil courses to be discontinued.
- All higher education institutions, except legal and medical colleges, to be governed by single regulator.
- Common norms to be in place for private and public higher education institutions .
- Home language, mother tongue or regional language to be medium of instruction up to Class V.
- Common entrance exams to be held for admission to universities and higher education institutions.
- School curriculum to be reduced to core concepts; integration of vocational education from Class VI.
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