New Delhi: In the new National Education Policy 2020, approved by Union Cabinet on Wednesday (July 29), the curricular and pedagogical structure of school education will undergo a thorough change to meet the developmental needs and interests of school children for their development at different stages.
The NEP 2020 will give a thrust on early childhood care and education. It will replace the 10+2 structure of school curricula by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The 5+3+3+4 structure will comprise 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school.
The 5+3+3+4 structure will include a foundational stage from 3 to 8, three years of pre-primary education from 8 to 11, a preparatory stage from 11 to 14, while the secondary stage would comprise 14 to 18 years.
According to the NEP 2020, school students will take exams only for Classes 3, 5, and 8. Assessment in other years will shift to a "regular and formative" style that will be more "competency-based" to promote learning and development testing "higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity".
The NEP also proposed that the board exams will continue to be held for classes 10 and 12, but these will also be re-designed with "holistic development".
According to the HRD Ministry statement, “This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum, which has been recognised globally as the crucial stage for the development of mental faculties of a child. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/pre-schooling.”
A National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of eight will be developed by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT).
The ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs will jointly accomplish the ECCE's planning and implementation.
The new policy aims for Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100% GER in school education by 2030, said the statement.
"This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student," the statement said.