New Education Policy: Technical Education as a part of General Higher Education
Ddivyang friendly educational software will be used to attract differently abled persons to continue study with minimum effort. Establishment of a National Educational Technology Forum is also mentioned in NEP.
After 34 years, we Indians are going to step into a new education system. If anything continues for a long time then it becomes monotonous and a change in the system may prove to be beneficial from many respects. We had enough time to note the pros and cons of the present system and now when the new education policy is introducing, it is desirable that it will remove the short comings of the present system to a great extent. Making of a flexible policy is not easy for a developing country like India having a large number of heterogeneous population. Perhaps with this in mind, the MHRD initiated an participatory consultation process from January 2015.If we look into few important moves towards preparation of NEP, ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ is formed under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary and the committee submitted its report in May 2016. Based on the report, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’. A ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was constituted in June 2017 under the Chairmanship of eminent scientist Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister on 31st May, 2019. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 was uploaded on MHRD’s website inviting views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including public.According to MHRD’s official website, NEP 2020 has been formulated after an unprecedented process of consultation that involved nearly over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts. The Union Cabinet finally approved a new National Education Policy on July 29, after a 34-year gap. For India it is the 3rd education policy after 1968 and 1986.
Big changes are there in School Education, Higher Education as well as in Technical Education according to the New Education Policy (NEP). While for School Education, the 10+2 structure has been replaced by 5+3+3+4, multiple entry and exit system is introduced in Higher Education. There are many more major changes like elimination of stream concept like Science, Arts and Commerce, comeback of 4 years of undergraduate programs, termination of M.Phil programs etc and many more.
If we look into the sector of technical education, technical education will be merged into the General Higher Education. Multiple entry and exit option will enable the students to get a good return of time. Every year of graduation will add an equivalent degree in their career. Only the first year will make the student eligible for a certificate course completion degree. Next year he/she will be treated as an advanced diploma holder. At the completion of third year bachelor’s degree will be confirmed and at the end of 4th and last year the candidate will be awarded with a research degree. With a research degree candidate will be able to complete Mastersdegree only in one year.
The concept of Academic bank of credits is an important component of NEP. Academic Bank of credits will be used for digitally storing academic credits of students earned from different HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned. The academic bank of credit will make it possible by the students to complete their course even if there is any unexpected break in their study.
As technical education will be merged into the General Higher Education, Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Norms are expected to be identical across the country. HEIs are supposed to enjoy academic, administrative and financial autonomy under ‘light and tight’ regulation;
Stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges, affiliation of colleges will be phased out in 15 years. The NEP aims at to move towards a higher educational system consisting of large, multidisciplinary universities and colleges. Single stream concept from institutions will be terminated gradually and universities and colleges must aim to become multidisciplinary by 2040. The IITs are already moving in that direction. IIT-Delhi has a humanities department and set up a public policy department recently. IIT-Kharagpur has a School of Medical Science and Technology.
A National Research Foundation will be established to fund outstanding peer-reviewed research and to actively seed research in universities and colleges. Indication of introducing an uniform fee-structure with an upper ceiling is there in NEP which may save the students from the burden of huge course fee as demanded by many private institutions.
Another important move of the NEP is that foreign colleges will be permitted to open campus in India. Participation of foreign universities in India is currently limited to them entering into collaborative twinning programmes, sharing faculty with partnering institutions and offering distance education. Over 650 foreign education providers have such arrangements in India.
Use of technology in education will be encouraged according to NEP, online teaching and Learning will be promoted. Proposals are there to set up virtual labs. E-contentwill be developed in various languages. Ddivyang friendly educational software will be used to attract differently abled persons to continue study with minimum effort. Establishment of a National Educational Technology Forum is also mentioned in NEP.
Many of the changes as suggested by the NEP is job oriented, focused on gaining of practical knowledge rather than theoretical bookish knowledge. New Education Policy is indeed what India needed, as the present system is not oriented towards to recognise the field of expertise of a fellow student. Only by memorising students can earn good credits in the present system and afterwards they fall behind in the competitive world.
It is expected that the NEP will be able to recognise the specific talent of a musician, an artist, a programmer and many other skills required for other professions. At the 6th standard only students will have the scope to be in touch with the field of his/her choice.Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
Of course there are many points in NEP which are recommended according to the need of time. If implemented successfully, the scenario of higher education of India may rise to a next level after a considerable span of time. At the same time there are few criteria whose impacts are tough to assess in prior, they can be felt only in time.
The so called autonomy of the use of mother tongue, local language, regional languageupto 5th standard will definitely make the course and study more attractive and easy for kids, but its a matter of concern whether this move will make the students from poor to poorer in English. In states like Tripura the English language is generally promoted only by strict bindings of curriculum. In the absence of it, students may suffer afterwards and it can never be ruled out that English is an very essential language to survive in the present competitive world.
The infrastructure to run multidisciplinary courses in HEIs is another important concern. In the context of Tripura, HEIs have to make a significant up gradation in their infrastructure to successfully implement the new policy of Education. The goals of NEP cannot be achieved with limited teaching faculty, less equipped labs and untrained staffs. But we have to look forward. Every positive change of the world is achieved at the cost of many efforts. The transition period may be tough for us to face, but at the end of the day NEPis expected to uplift the standard of Indian Education System.