Gist of Education Sector Reforms Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

UPSC: Gist of Education Sector Reforms Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

The document Gist of Education Sector Reforms Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

Context

In this episode different aspects education sector reforms has been discussed and analysed. 

Background

  • The Government is committed to provide equitable access to quality education to all, across all levels from primary to university level, for which reforms are undertaken in the education sector.
  • New Education Policy, with varieties of reforms has a big role in transforming education system in India.
  • The implementation of initial phase of new education policy will be started by individual schools by 2022.

Summary of The Debate

New Education Policy (NEP)

  • The first new education policy in 34 years, New Education Policy (NEP), has introduced many reformations in the Indian education system. 
  • The new policy envisions offering a new structure to the education system in the country. The NEP tries to put a systemic change in the sector than an incremental one and underlines several new rules that will benefit students, education providers and the labour market.
  • Key Takeaways:
    • The NEP proposes sweeping changes including opening up of Indian higher education to foreign universities, dismantling of the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), introduction of a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options, and discontinuation of the M Phil programme.
    • In school education, the policy focuses on overhauling the curriculum, “easier” Board exams, a reduction in the syllabus to retain “core essentials” and thrust on “experiential learning and critical thinking”.
    • The mid-day meal programme will be extended to pre-school children. The NEP says students until Class 5 should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language.
    • The policy also proposes phasing out of all institutions offering single streams and that all universities and colleges must aim to become multidisciplinary by 2040.

Reforms Introduced in the School Education System

  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): NEP 2020 emphasis on ECCE to promote and achieve appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in a child's early years for healthy brain development and growth. 
    • For implementation of ECCE, National Council of Educational Research and Training ("NCERT") has been tasked with the development of a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education for children up to the age of 8 years. 
  • Change in Curricular and Pedagogical Structure: The existing academic structure of 10+2 structure (ages 6-16 and ages 16-18) has been replaced with the structure of 5+3+3+4 with the structure being as follows:
    • Foundational Stage (ages 3-8): This stage involves multilevel, play/activity-based learning classified into 2 sub-stages, viz. (a) angawadi/pre-school/balvatika for ages 3-6; and (b) classes 1 and 2 for ages 6-8.
    • Preparatory Stage (ages 8-11): This stage involves play, discovery, and activity based and interactive classroom learning and includes classes 3 to 5.
    • Middle Stage (ages 11-14): This stage involves experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities and includes classes 6 to 8.
    • High School (ages 14-18): This stage involves multidisciplinary study, greater critical thinking, flexibility, and student choice of subjects and includes classes 9 to 12. The High school stage is proposed to build on the subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style of middle stage.

Changes Introduced In Higher Education

  • 50% Increase In GER: The NEP aims at increasing the current GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) from 26.3% to 50 by 2035. According to the NEP it is being speculated that 3.5 crore new seats will be added for higher education.
  • Overall Multidisciplinary Education: Undergraduates will now have the option to choose the number of years as per their requirement ranging from 1-4 years with appropriate certification. For example, certificate after 1 year, advanced diploma after 2 years, license after 3 years and research license after 4 years.
  • Online education and digital education: A comprehensive set of recommendations is provided in NEP, for the promotion of online education in the wake of the recent outbreak of pandemics to ensure the availability of quality alternative education modes anytime and anywhere.

Promoting Regional/Local Languages

  • NEP proposes promotion of regional languages by making it the medium of instruction till 5th or 8th class.
  • Sanskrit will be an optional third language subject at all levels of the school. 
  • Other than Sankrit, other languages will also be available as optional subjects. Secondary level education will include teaching of other foreign languages as well. 
  • ISL (Indian Sign Language) will be made standard across the country and teaching material for students with hearing impairments will be developed for national and state schools.

Changes In The Process of Teacher's Recruitment

  • Teachers will now be recruited with more transparent processes and promotions will be merit-based. The Common National Professional Standards (NPST) will be created by NCTE by 2022, in deliberation with NCERT, teachers and expert organizations and SCERT at all levels and regions.
  • To improve the education system and improve the standard of students’, a focus should also be given to teachers’ standard. For this, there is a provision of setting up of national professional standards for teachers. 
  • NCTE will formulate a new comprehensive national educational framework for teacher training, NCFTE 2021, in consultation with NCERT. As per the policy of the new education system, by 2030, a teacher will require a minimum of B.Ed degree of 4 years for teaching in any institution.

Implementation Criteria of Reforms

  • Since education is a concurrent subject (both the Centre and the state governments can make laws on it), the reforms proposed can only be implemented collaboratively by the Centre and the states. This will not happen immediately.
  • The NEP only provides a broad direction and is not mandatory to follow.
  • The government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy. 
  • The government plans to set up subject-wise committees with members from relevant ministries at both the central and state levels to develop implementation plans for each aspect of the NEP. 
  • The plans will list out actions to be taken by multiple bodies, including the HRD Ministry, state Education Departments, school Boards, NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education and National Testing Agency, among others. 
  • Planning will be followed by a yearly joint review of progress against targets set.

Conclusion

There are series of reforms put on place in education sector primarily through education policy. Reforming the entire process of education from primary to university level and the related aspects are also there. Sufficient funding is also crucial; the 1968 NEP was hamstrung by a shortage of funds. It is a long process, it will take a few years to put every aspect of these reforms into implementation but the process has begun.

The document Gist of Education Sector Reforms Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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