Looks like 2020 has finally lent an ear to all the bashing that it received since its inception. From being called a deadly witch, to being termed as a mean b**ch, 2020 had it all. Rumour has it that petitions are being filed to end 2020 midway and start with 2021 already to avoid the inevitable apocalypse that it has in store for the coming months that seem unending.
This year has kept all of us on our toes with jolting headlines every now and then. From the global pandemic to natural havocs, to the menace of locust attacks, to high profile deaths and multiple releases of Salman khan sung songs, this year has been nothing less than a disaster.
In as late as July, 2020 has finally taken it personally and given us a breather in the face of the revamped Indian Education Policy. While it sucks being not on the receiving end of this new policy and going through all the drudgery all this while ourselves, it feels good (with a heavy heart) that GEN-Z (lucky ba***rds) will get to experience education, without the hoard of getting an edge. With sectors developing new ways to stay put in business chains, court-hearings being held on tech screens, Netflix milking everyone’s daylight hours, and now, reforms in the Indian education system after three-plus odd decades, 2020 is definitely bringing in a revolution. A revolution that will define years to come. Well, I guess Chetan Bhagat is indeed a visionary if not an author. Let us have a look at how this new Indian education policy will change the north and south of age-old learning, its benefits and some challenges that it may face while its wholesome implementation.
- Back to Basics
Rabindranath Tagore had said, “Don’t limit your child to your own learning for he was born in another time”. This quote by him loosely translates to say that every new generation has its own set of advantages and qualities as they enter a world that keeps evolving with the passing years. Sometimes, much changes just in a day. Thus, it becomes unfair to pin down children with conventional ways of learning that has been in place since the ice age. With the new policy, even the basic learning has been emphasized. Nipping the problem in the bud, the new guidelines stress upon conditioning of children from the very beginning. Therefore, pre-school won’t just be restricted to finishing tiffin boxes or learning to use public toilets, in fact, a proper curriculum will be made by NCERT for our little friends. It is also going to be based on vocational activities apart from textbook learning. This will help young children in retaining memory, become socially aware, become expressive from the outset, take an active interest in their surroundings and develop curiosity.
- 5+3+3+4 = Better Options
Earlier, we had a very redundant 10+2 pattern which not only neglected one’s pre-school years but also made the rest of our school education very streamlined and selective.
The new pattern has not only included the early years of one’s education as discussed in the first point but also made the rest of the school years fun [now your pretty classmate or the cute English teacher won’t be the only reason you look forward to school ;)]. This is how the new pattern will look like:
- 3 years of pre-schooling and the next two years (1st and 2nd standards) based on experimental analysis and activity-based learning. Mother tongue will be the medium of instruction, wherever possible (hor dasso, sab changa?) to promote regional languages and for the better understanding of the children. [first 5 years are sorted].
- The next three years i.e 3rd to 5th will focus on developing interests in various things apart from studies. Subjects like Fine Arts and Animal Care have also found a place in the newly formed academics syllabus. [next 3 years done.]
- 6th to 8th standards will be dealing with academic foundation building and interest exploration of the children to decide subjects they want to take up for higher studies. Interestingly, this stage is quite new as earlier parents used to decide what stream their children will take up, with no set streams in the picture, dominating parents are in real trouble. [next 3 years covered]
- The secondary stage will comprise of four years of multidisciplinary study and will focus on building subject depth in their own choice of study. So, if you love to study History, you need not become an archaeologist and study Harappan civilization; or if you have an inclination to Astrophysics, you need not force yourself to become an astronaut, and if you like Biology or Chemistry, please FIND THE GODDAMN VACCINE. Anyway, the point is, you get to mix and match and choose whatever you want to study. Unlike our times, when one of my friends liked Physics and hated Maths, took Science anyway, and made his life hell in the next two years struggling with Maths and even Physics seemed a burden and eventually, he had to take up Law. So with this new policy, you escape that nightmarish life. [last 4 years of smooth sailing done.]
- Modern Problems Need Morden Solutions
Maybe due to the lockdown, even the Government binged on a lot of Netflix and finally stumbled upon Dave Chappelle’s stand-up, only to realise that it’s high time that they work upon modern solutions. With this new policy on education, they’ve made the curriculum more inclined towards scientific and mathematical temper to enhance learning. Introduction to Coding as early as in the 6th grade is a great step that’ll make children adapt to technology in the world which largely depends on the same. It’s great that the Ministry is inculcating modern ways of teaching in the education system, hope they also come up with modern names while renaming cities the next time. Just saying.
- The More, The Messier.
Defying the age-old norm of ‘The More, The Merrier’, the new education policy has reduced the curriculum. With reduced portion on the plate, it’ll be easier for students to digest the core concepts while also leaving room to develop the requisite soft-skills. Internships are also advised to be taken up by students in the school years so that they can get acquainted with the groundwork in their early years of study ( and also chill on the weekends at the movies with their own money). These bag-less days, where they do mini-internships, will also be considered while evaluating their academic performance at the end of the year.
- Test Me, Not.
‘A three-hour exam does not decide your intelligence’
No, this is not sympathy we used to get after we ducked all our exams, this is soon going to find its applicability with the advent of the new education policy. A student’s final report card will have three sections:
- Self-assessment: Here, they get to evaluate themselves, so if you think you did okay round the year, it’s great. This will let them assess their self-worth and they’ll learn to respect themselves (hope, the next generation is not that of NARCISSISTS).
- Peer assessment: Never thought tiffin sharing could fetch me marks! With classmates giving scores, one is bound to develop feelings of kindness and empathy. At the same time, it’s a great method to inculcate “Gender Sensitization” as a child learns to co-operate with the opposite gender.
- Teachers Assessment: No need to explain this, we had this as our only assessment all these years.
- Multiple Entries
Another interesting thing that has been added in the revamped version of education is that if you drop out of your higher degree for any reason (or no reason at all), you can resume your learning from where you left. No years wasted. You will have credit banks and you can transfer your credit to the next year or next course. For 2 years, you get a diploma, for three, you get a degree, sounds easy right?
- Will You Be My Mentor?
The Government plans to start what they call as the ‘National Mission On Mentoring’; when the motivation gets evaporated, a mentor, a guide is all that we need to get back on track. Again, fields like painting, music, designing, etc. need mentoring to reach the maximum potential. With the said mission, there will be mentors specialised in specific fields to guide the students once they reach their higher degrees or research.
- Low-Fee Skills
There will be capping of fees in universities. A certain fee limit mentioned by the Government will be considered a standard ceiling of fees that Government as well as private universities can charge. This has been done to ensure that the fruits of education reaches all and is easily accessible to everyone.
- UG Programmes: 3-4 Years
- PG Program: 1-2 Years
- Integrated Bachelor’s + Masters: 5 years
- M Phil. discontinued
In totality, the new education policy looks promising at its best, giving tooth to core details rather than rote-learning that has been prevalent for more than three decades now, however, it will be quite interesting to see how the Government implements this idealistic seeming policy on paper in these unprecedented circumstances and how will this policy benefit the strata of society where internet is still a distant dream. Whatever be the outcome, this new policy is sure to bring about a revolution in the history of Indian education system and as they say, “one revolution is like one cocktail, it just gets you organised for the next one”.
 The day poor 1000 rupees notes suddenly became worthless (demonetization), or the day someone ate a bat!
 The policy was last changed in 1992 and before that in 1986 since the first National Policy on Education was formed in 1968. (Doesn’t that sound like an ice age to you?, Ah then, sorry for the hype.)
 National Council of Education Research and Training (I’ve got you covered you if didn’t know what NCERT stands for).
 Just said that to sound mature.
 “Mera beta engineer banega”
 Yes, that’s me.
 They will still get pocket money, right?
 Kabhi kabhi lagata hai apunich bhagwan hai / Main apni favourite hoon
This post is written by Abhishek Ranjan