The NEP 2020, included by the Ministry of Education has brought about various changes in the traditional educational system of the country. This policy aims at providing a platform for nurturing the creative sides of students, as well as promoting good academics, with not just an emphasis on earning degrees. The envision of providing quality education is what the NEP 2020 has in reserve.

As part of the policy, unscholastic subjects like music, literature, and arts were added to the curriculum. In addition to pursuing a degree, students are asked to choose a field of study in music, arts, or literature. Along with their professional degree, students will be credited with the completion of those non-curricular subjects and counted as part of course completion goals. This shift in policy has given India a rise in the educational outlook, thereby moving a step ahead in modernity.

As stated above, the policy aims at setting up multidisciplinary departments in all educational institutions. Sports, theatre, dance, philosophy, language, music, literature, translation, and interpretation are the areas that will stand out as part of the curriculum. Even specialised educational institutions like the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIM (Indian Institute of Management) will see these additions to the curriculum. The overall motive of the policy aims at creating a holistic system of higher education in India.

Why do we need such measures in our educational system?

To put it in a nutshell - the policy brings in the importance of India’s varied cultural heritage and accentuates the need to preserve wealth for the nation’s economy. When the policy is analysed in-depth, it reveals the focus on developing extracurricular activities and nurturing arts. In a world that is changing every day, there is a real need for innovative thinking, inventive solutions, holistic exposure, and a hunger for knowledge throughout one’s life. The policy believes that art education fosters the development of these much-needed skills.

What power can arts education release in students?  

  • Endorsing a curriculum where students engage in inventive thinking for analysis-based learning is a quality benefit of introducing arts in the system. It also helps children focus on inquiry-based learning to develop a knack for creativity.
  • Exposure to vocational education must be given at a very young age, states the policy. The neglect in vocational training can mirror a poor performance in the education system. Students will understand the dignity of labour when introduced to internships with craftsmen and artists.
  • Learning art during school hours will engage students with hands-on experience and out-of-the-textbook learning skills. Making students see the work of local artists and communities will encourage them to look at the world through a different eye.
  • Teaching students about Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) aim at a prime need of educating them about rural life and their societal ways. Introducing children to such lessons can make them learn more about their country’s practices rather than relying on western cultures.
  • Student tours across the country will help children appreciate the diverse culture and heritage of particular sites/ regions.

Practically, art integration in the educational policy is very important in the modern educational world. As for teachers, educating through art forms can help present difficult concepts visually, making it easier to understand. Children are better equipped with the development of motor skills, social skills, decision making, risk-taking, and innovative thinking.

As a fun factor, integrating art with other disciplines reach students who find it difficult to engage in classwork. Art education provides challenges for learners of all levels. It connects students with their culture as well as open a wide view of the world. Interestingly, art education can develop a sense of passion among students to attend school, and score higher as compared to traditional classroom methods.

The advantages of having an arts education are numerous. Truly, it is essential preparation for success in this century. Art, as an entity, is at the very core of our identity as human beings. As for NEP 2020, this is the best gift it can provide to the nation’s students-the understanding, appreciation and creation of art.