(Pranav Gupta, Jamboree Education's co-founder and also the founder of Ashoka and Plaksha universities shared his opinion on NEP 2020)
The Union Cabinet approved the New Education Policy of India on July 29, 2020, with the intention of implementing transformative changes to the nation's school and higher education facilities. The NEP's goal to upgrade education system and providing students greater freedom in higher education is a positive move for the nation as it tries to keep up with the leading economies of the world.
This New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is the first educational reform of the 21st century which succeeds the National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986 that has been in effect for 34 years. Under this strategy, a number of initiatives have been launched, including the Academic Bank of Credit, which will give students in higher education a choice of entry and exit alternatives, introduction of first-year engineering programmes in regional languages, and guidelines for internationalizing higher education. The major highlight of the NEP 2020 is the multidisciplinary approach undertaken by University Grants Commission (UGC) that allows students in India to pursue multiple degrees at once in classroom setting, distance and open learning setting, or online mode.
Pranav Gupta, Jamboree Education's co-founder and also the founder of Ashoka and Plaksha universities shared his opinion on NEP 2020, "The National Education Policy is transformational as it provides a road map for improving the learning environment by helping in the making of a comprehensive educational system. We think by making school and higher education more thorough and adaptive, these measures will aid in turning India into a country that values active learning. The goal of a multidisciplinary education is to prepare students for an unpredictable future by equipping them with the necessary skills and NEP is set to fulfill that vision."
Equal encouragement of the sciences, humanities, physical education and different co - curricular activities is one of NEP's core pillars, which allows students to choose whatever interests them. The flexibility in subjects is a key feature of higher education curricula. It aims to promote conceptual learning over rote memorization and places a premium on critical thinking and creativity. Development of life skills along with regular formative evaluation for learning can help students in establishing their careers on solid knowledge. In addition, undergraduate degrees can now last up to four years. "Along with having a solid understanding of their own field, students must have a basic understanding of other disciplines to succeed in the real world. For that to happen, the curriculum should be both comprehensive and in-depth. With a four-year degree course under NEP, students will be exposed to a variety of fields within the humanities, social sciences and sciences, and get the opportunity to learn more about practical courses that will prepare them for the better," states Pranav Gupta.
NEP 2020 aims to develop a strong research culture and increase research capabilities across higher education. In the absence of a strong research ecosystem, the innovation is constrained in the sector. The research output of Indian institutions is subpar when compared to the best institutions in the world, despite the fact that they perform a fair task of educating a sizable populace. "As educators, we are hoping that the introduction of several initiatives and new programmes will create a wide range of options and increase the system's adaptability. The mission and goal of accessible, high-quality education for everyone are advanced by these improvements. India has to start attracting more foreign students. The departments for international students will support enrollment to Indian institutions by raising the knowledge about the potential of such institutions overseas. It can be done when our educational establishments rank higher and can compete with world class institutions in terms of innovations, research, cutting-edge performance levels", highlights Pranav Gupta Jamboree Education Co-Founder.
Impediments of NEP 2020
NEP 2020 is not without its share of concerns. Although the concept of alternate exits within the higher education paradigm is an important step in reducing the dropout rate, but as per the Indian mentality obtaining a degree is closely related to finding employment. This viewpoint undermines and discourages other inherent skills of an individual. The full implementation of NEP 2020's proposals for the higher education sector will be difficult due to the limited resources available. There is a need for increase in public funding for higher education which does not match well with the current scenario. Simply put, the increase in the education budget from 3 percent to 6 percent of GDP is insufficient to meet the needs of implementation. Private institutions must offer more scholarships if they want to enroll students from low-income groups, but the NEP make no mention of how this may be accomplished.
There is a requirement of internet access in remote areas because, as was evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, e-learning is the way of the future. The digital framework of this initiative includes digital classrooms, expert online teaching models, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies in physical teaching and lab facilities, standard evaluation schemes across schools, career counseling sessions and teacher training education to understand advanced technology. For the upcoming years, this will remain a significant obstacle.
"In order to implement the new system, we must first dispel the outdated notion that obtaining a degree is the only requirement for finding employment. There are additional abilities that need to be prioritized as well. No policy is ideal when it is initially put into place, but I believe that over time it may be improved. The focus ought to be on the successful implementation of the new education strategy, which will provide our children a solid platform on which to build a new version of themselves, become competitive on a global scale, and improve their chances for the future," concludes Jamboree Education Founder Pranav Gupta.