The quality of human capital is the touchstone of education in any country. A well-educated generation with a high literacy rate is equipped to undertake social, economic, and political roles responsibly with an overarching awareness of the global issues. Such is the vision embedded in the NEP 2020, which, when fully implemented, promises to make education holistic and a lot more rewarding.
As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and embark on a new academic year, it is important to clearly understand the potential of evolution in Indian education as a result of these three forces: NEP and the accompanying new platforms and techniques of teaching and learning.
NEP 2020: A New Model of Education
NEP 2020, with its provisions of revamping the curriculum structure, assessment criteria and regulations, promises a brand-new approach to teaching and learning. Very concisely, some projected benefits of NEP can be summed up as:
Strong learning foundation and robust academic growth
Research suggests that 85% of the cumulative brain development in a child happens by the age of six. The new 5+3+3+4 formula provides a strong underpinning with the first five years dedicated to foundational learning, followed by a regularly assessed academic growth through the preparatory, middle and secondary stages.
Holistic development for students of all grades
NEP will inspire a shift from rote learning to in-depth understanding. The curriculum content will be reduced to core essentials and create more space for critical thinking, discussions, and analysis. Teaching and learning will be more interactive, exploratory, collaborative, and experiential.
Flexibility in choice of subjects
Students will enjoy far greater flexibility in choice of subjects, with no hard separation between the streams of arts, humanities, commerce and sciences.
The proposal of a yearlong course in grade 6-8 in carpentry, electric work, gardening, pottery, metal work etc. will help in skill development.
Better student assessment
NEP 2020 proposes Standardized state school exams for grades 3, 5 and 8. Board exams for 10 and 12. Exams to test literacy, numeracy, and foundational skills will be very important.
New platforms and techniques of teaching-learning
Digital revolution and pedagogical innovations are perpetually creating new platforms of learning and techniques for teaching. NEP 2020 will further open the field for creativity.
The educational institutions will have to overhaul their infrastructure to accommodate new facilities for the implementation of the curriculum as envisioned in NEP.
NEP mandates all teachers and principals to take at least 50 hours of Continuous Professional Development workshops each year. This will refine teaching skills and techniques.
NEP envisions an autonomous body named National Educational Technology Forum to provide a platform for exchanging ideas and using technology to enrich teaching-learning experience.
E-learning platforms such as DIKSHA, SWAYAM & SWAYAMPRABHA will offer teaching and learning e-content.
Blended learning is going to be the complementary mode of education.
Teachers will have to equip themselves with the digital knowhow to create synchronous and asynchronous lessons.
The beginning of change
The Union Budget 2021-22 has already set the ball rolling with the announcement to qualitatively strengthen 15,000 schools across India to implement NEP. These shall serve as model schools for the others to follow. Going forward, the education sector must harness the forces of technology and pedagogy to further bolster the benefits accruing from NEP. That shall set Indian education on a rising curve of evolution.
(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Today. The original article can be found at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/new-education-policy-new-platforms-and-new-techniques-for-teachers-1766405-2021-02-06)