National Education Policy 2023
Since times immemorial, the inquisitive mind of human beings has brought a remarkable revolution in the world right from the invention of the wheel, the Aryabhat’s zero or the use of bronze in implements and tools in the Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro.
We inherited Lord Macaulay’s British Education System of 1835, which had a leaning towards the Western world. Over the years, Education Policies in India have been formulated first in 1968 then in 1986 and now on 29th July 2020, the Union Cabinet adopted the National Education Policy 2020. The National Education Policy 2020 was recently approved by the Indian government as the National Education Policy 2023.
Amongst the three lists- Union List, State List, and Concurrent List, enshrined in the Indian Constitution of India, the subject Education was earlier included in the State List however, by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976, the subject Education was shifted to the Concurrent List. Now, both the Parliament and State assemblies can legislate on the subject of Education.
Thus, Education in India is a subject in List III in the Seventh Schedule (referred to as the “Concurrent List”). Both the Central Government & the State Governments have the responsibility for enacting and implementing education policy.
Until now, the Central board and most of the state boards uniformly followed the "10+2" pattern of education.
We all have heard about the story of Abhimanyu, a warrior from the epic Mahabharata. He was the son of Arjuna, the Pandava, and Subhadra, the younger sister of Lord Krishna. Even while in his mother Subhadra's womb, Abhimanyu overheard their discussion with her brother Lord Krishna about Chakravyuha and picked up the skill to move through the battle formation successfully. However, for some reason, he could not listen to the final part of the conversation in which it was explained how to come out of the entangle.
This story of learning from the womb, itself, is a testimony to the innate cognitive abilities of the embryo itself. National Education Policy 2023 is focussing on the innate abilities of young children and is fully harnessing their talent by allowing them to learn right from the very beginning at the age of 3.
National Education Policy 2023 has replaced the traditional concept of a 10+2 study model with a 5+3+3+4 design covering ages 3-18. The journey of learning now starts at an early age of 3 instead of at the age of 6 in the previous model.
New Education Policy in India Aims 100% Youth and Adult Literacy. National Education Policy 2023 recommends an expenditure of 6% of our country’s GDP on education against the previous 1.7%. Its motto is Educate, Encourage and Enlighten.
NEP 2023 covers ages from 3 to 18 instead of earlier 6 to 14.
In NEP 2023, Children Learn in 4 Stages
1) Foundation Stage
[5 years duration] [Grades 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school +1st and 2nd] Children age 3 to 8 are eligible for the Foundation Stage. Children start schooling in the Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is, 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8).
The design in the foundation stage is based on the principles of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) that adopt flexible, play-activity-inquiry-based learning involving alphabets, languages, numbers, counting, colors, shapes, indoor and outdoor play, puzzles and logical thinking, problem-solving, drawing, painting, and other visuals.
In the NEP Policy 2023, at the foundation stage, the focus will be on imparting learning through toys and puzzles to evoke interest in school education among children. Assessments will mostly be based on the observations made by teachers.
Foundation stage learning will emphasize the nurturing caring relationships between the teacher and the children.
Playful creative activities will evoke interest in the children to learn new things with fun without any burden of examinations.
2) Preparatory Stage
[3 years duration] [Grades 3,4, and 5] NEP Policy 2023 envisages the preparatory Stage of the National Education Policy 2023 of 3 years duration that caters to children of 8 to 11 years of age. In this stage, the children study from the 3rd standard to the 5th Standard. In the Preparatory Stage, the NCF proposes introducing written tests. Summative assessments are made for assessing the eligibility for promotion to the next Grade. Emphasis is laid on reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, science, and mathematics.
Education Reform is brought in the preparatory stage by bringing into the curricula the knowledge of languages, mathematics, arts, physical education, and the world around us. Vocational education is also incorporated.
Children in this stage are imparted learning by relying less on the textbook and more on experiential learning with physical exploration as the main source of content.
Students are expected to develop fluency in literacy and numeracy and develop further capacities and abilities.
3) Middle Stage
[ 3 years duration] [Grades 6, 7, and 8] The Middle Stage of the National Education Policy 2023 is of 3 years duration that caters to children 11-14 years of age. In this stage, they study from the 6th standard to the 8th Standard.
National Education Policy 2023 prepares students of the Middle Stage across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities. The focus is on imparting experiential learning. Students get exposure to Vocational Education.
NEP Policy 2023 envisages a more formal and explicit Assessment of the performance of the students. Assessments are based on the ways of reasoning and not merely on memorizing the facts. Formal tests and examinations are to test the ability of the students to process information for analysis and synthesis.
In the Middle Stage, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities are consolidated and the students assimilate and imbibe the cultural and traditional values.
4) Secondary Stage
[4 years duration] [Grades 9, 10,11, and 12] The Secondary Stage of the National Education Policy 2023 is of 4 years duration that caters to children 14-18 years of age. In this period, students study Grades 9–12 in two parts, encompassing ages 14–18: 9–10 in the first and 11–12 in the second.
The Secondary Stage will comprise four years of multidisciplinary study, building on the subject-oriented pedagogical style and imparting in-depth learning. There will be greater flexibility & choice of subjects for the students.
In this stage, the students will have the option of exiting after Grade 10 and re-entering in the next phase to pursue vocational or any other courses available in Grades 11-12.
In the Secondary phase, students will be given flexibility and choice of subjects to study, particularly in secondary school - including subjects in physical education, arts and crafts, and vocational skills. Along with science, humanities, and maths, the school curriculum will also include subjects like physical education, arts and crafts, and vocational skills.
Education Reform in the Secondary Stage will be in the form of the following:
A range of multidisciplinary courses will be offered including:
- Essential courses which all students must take.
- Choice-based courses which each student may select.
- Vocational education, arts, and sports as a part of the curriculum.
Two phases will make up the Secondary Stage:
- To facilitate breadth, broad curricular areas (such as science, social science, and the humanities) will be offered in grades 9 and 10. The learning objectives are clearly stated.
- To permit depth, disciplines (such as history, physics, and language) within each curriculum area will be given in grades 11 and 12. Specific subjects and disciplines might be chosen by the students.
Design of Grades 9 and 10
Students must finish two courses from each of the eight possible curricula, for a total of 16 courses, over two years in Grades 9 and 10.
These 7 Curricular Areas are:
- Humanities (that includes languages)
- Mathematics & Computing
- Vocational Education
- Physical Education
- Social Science
And, Inter-disciplinary Areas give the necessary breadth of understanding and capacities for the students
It is feasible to create a semester structure in these classes, but it is not necessary because all students will take all the prerequisite courses. Grades 9 and 10 will follow an annual format.
Students must clear 8 Board examinations at the end of Grade 10 - these assess each of the two Essential Courses in each Curricular Area learned during Grades 9 and 10. The ultimate certification will be determined by the total score on each of the tests.
Design of Grades 11 and 12
The eight Curricular Areas are the same but choice-based courses will be designed based on the Disciplines within the Curricular Areas. Choice-based courses and their content will be designed based on the nature of disciplines. Each choice-based course in Secondary Stage would be lasting a semester, with the Secondary Stage being divided into semesters.
To pass Grade 12, students must complete 16 elective courses.
Disciplines from at least three curricular areas must be selected by students. They must finish four choice-based courses within the discipline they select to assure depth.
In the case of academic disciplines, the intent of these four courses should be to give an introduction to give a good introduction to the discipline. In the case of vocational areas, these four courses should equip that student to enter the world of work in that particular vocation.
Disciplines (four courses within each discipline
Languages, Literature, Philosophy
History, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology
Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Mathematics and Computing
Mathematics, Computer Science, Business Mathematics
Music, Dance, Theatre, Sculpture, Painting, Film Appreciation, Script writing, Set design
Aligned to the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)
Courses on Specific Sports, Games,Yoga to include all aspects (e.g. coaching, financing)
Commerce, Sustainability and Climate Change,(Environmental Education), Health( Public Community Health), Media & Journalism, Family and Community Sciences( the current form of Home Science), Knowledge of India, Indian Knowledge, Traditions and Practices, Indian Knowledge Systems, Legal Studies. (List may be enhanced continually)
As an illustration, if a student chooses Social Science (Curricular Area) and History (Discipline) within that, he or she must complete all four courses in History. He or she could then choose the Humanities as the second Curricular Area and complete four courses in Philosophy. Mathematics could be the third Curricular Area with four courses in Computer Science.
The fourth set of courses may come from one of the three already selected Curricular Areas or an entirely other one.
Alternatively, if a student chooses Science (Curricular Area) and Physics (Discipline) within that, she must complete all four courses in Physics. He/She could then choose Arts as the second Curricular Area and do four courses in Music. Mathematics could be the third Curricular Area with four courses in Mathematics.
The fourth set of courses may come from one of the three already selected Curricular Areas or an entirely other one.
Instead of a single exam after the year, modular board examinations will be offered. The ultimate certification will be determined by the total score on each of the tests.
The National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF) is developed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) based on the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to enable its implementation across the four Stages in the 5+3+3+4 Curricular and Pedagogical restructuring of School Education.
The noteworthy Education Reform brought by the National Education Policy 2023 is visible in the drift from merely emphasizing memorizing and accumulation of content to generating the spirit of critical analysis & reasoning.
National Education Policy 2023 and the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF) provide the guiding principles for designing the syllabi, teaching-learning materials including play materials, workbooks, textbooks, and assessment methods.
Relevant stakeholders i.e. the functionaries, Teachers, in the States, Boards, and schools have to shoulder the responsibilities of making the New Education Policy in India, successful across all the 28 States & 8 Union Territories of India.
According to the policy, the duration of a UG degree will be four years and these degrees will be multidisciplinary, holistic, and flexible.
The students will be offered chances to opt for an exit from the degree course. After finishing a one-year course in a professional or vocational discipline, students will receive a certificate. They will, however, receive a diploma after two years and a bachelor's degree after three. Higher education is eliminating the M. Phil. degree.
In the National Education Policy 2023 the students will get to study in their Mother Tongue or regional language till the 5th standard. Additionally, this limit can be increased to the 8th standard as well. Examinations for students will only be given in classes 2nd, 5th, and 8th instead of every academic year.
Three languages chosen by the state will be taught to the student.
Application for the position of teacher will require completion of a 4-year integrated B.Ed. program. For entrance to HEIs, a common admission test will be used.
The standards for Board Examinations will be established by the PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) organization.
Educational Curriculum of NEP Policy 2023
New Education Policy 2023: Digital techniques of teaching will be resorted to. Thus the Stakeholders will not find difficulty as regards determining the New Education Policy Implementation date.
The NEP (New Education Policy) aims to increase the GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) from 26.3% to 50% by 2035.
Except for medical and law schools, all colleges and universities that provide higher education will be subject to regulation by the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) under this system.
If they have the necessary accreditation, institutions will be able to offer Open Distance Learning (ODL) & online programs to expand their offers, increase accessibility, boost GER, & create chances for lifelong learning.
Conclusion of National Education Policy 2023
The New Education Policy 2023 will bring about revolutionary changes in the education system as the focus is on imparting learning to students from the very young age of 3 years. As far as the New Education Policy Implementation date is concerned, the New Education Policy is to be implemented from the Academic Year 2023-24. Respective State Governments will take a call as regards its implementation in their States.
In the foundational stage, the learning journey will be play-based with colors, shapes, and games that will evoke interest in the young pupils. There will be a gradual transition through the preparatory stage, middle stage, and Secondary stage toward content-centric studies. Experiential learning will generate amongst the students the ability to critically think logically.
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