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PM’s NEP 2020 anniversary speech reassures education reform under new policy

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Academic Bank of Credit, NISHTHA 2.0 for teacher training, competency based assessment framework for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in CBSE schools, Guidelines for Internationalization of Higher Education launched

July 29, this year marked the first year of the National Education Policy (NEP) announced in 2020. The Government, in an apparent celebration of the policy announced after 34 years, fielded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver the message of education reforms under the NEP. Importantly, most of the speech given by the PM was devoted to the role of digital technologies or edtech in promotion of education delivery.

Congratulating the countrymen and students for New Education Policy completing one year, the Prime Minister lauded the hard work of teachers, professors, policymakers in realizing the New education policy on the ground, even during the difficult time of Covid-19. Noting the significance of the year ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Prime Minister said that the new Education Policy will play a major role in this important period. The Prime Minister said our future progress and growth is dependent on the level of education and direction given to our youth today. “I believe that is one of the bigger factors in ‘mahayagya’ of national development”, said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister used the occasion to launch the Academic Bank of Credit that will provide multiple entry and exit options for students in Higher education; 1st Year Engineering Programmes in Regional Languages and Guidelines for Internationalization of Higher Education.

The initiatives launched also included Vidya Pravesh, a three month play based school preparation module for Grade 1 students; Indian Sign Language as a Subject at secondary level; NISHTHA 2.0, an integrated programme of teacher training designed by NCERT; SAFAL (Structured Assessment For Analyzing Learning Levels), a competency based assessment framework for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in CBSE schools; and a website dedicated to  Artificial Intelligence. The event also witnessed the launch of National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) and National Education Technology Forum (NETF). Artificial Intelligence programme which was launched today will make the student future oriented and will pave the way for AI-driven economy. Similarly, National Digital Education Architecture, (NDEAR) and National Education Technology Forum (NETF) will go a long way in providing a digital and technological framework to the entire country, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister noted the changes brought by the pandemic and how normal online education became for the students. More than 23 hundred crore hits on Diksha portal bear testimony to the utility of portals like Diksha and Swayam.

The Prime Minister noted the strides made by the youth from small towns. He cited great performance at the Tokyo Olympics by the youth from such towns. He lauded the efforts of the youth in the fields of robotics, AI, start-ups and their leadership in industry 4.0. He said if the younger generation gets the environment suitable for their dreams, there is no limit to their growth. He stressed that today’s youth wants to decide their systems and their world on their own terms. They need exposure and freedom from the shackles and restrictions.  New Education Policy, assures our youth that the country is fully with them and their aspirations.

The Prime Minister highlighted the openness and absence of pressure in the New Education Policy. He said that there is an openness at policy level and openness is also visible in the options available to the students.  Options like multiple entry and exit will free students from the restrictions of staying in one class and one course. Similarly, modern technology based Academic Bank of Credit system will bring revolutionary change. This will give confidence to the student in choosing stream and subjects. ‘Structured Assessment for Analyzing Learning levels’, SAFAL will take away the fear of examination. The Prime Minister reiterated that these new programmes have the capability to change India’s destiny.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of local languages as medium of instructions. The Prime Minister informed that14 engineering colleges of 8 states are starting to impart education in 5 Indian languages Hindi, Tamil, Telugu. Marathi and Bangla. A tool has been developed for translating engineering course in 11 languages.  This emphasis on mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in the students from poor, rural and tribal background. Even in the elementary education mother tongue is being promoted and Vidya Pravesh progamme, launched today, will play a big role in that. He also informed that Indian sign language, for the first time, has been accorded the status of language subject. Students will be able to study it as language also. There are more than 3 lakh student who need sign language for their education. This will give a boost to Indian sign language and will help the divyang people, said the Prime Minister.

 

Reactions:

“Education policy is going to give wings to 21st century Indian students who want to create their own systems and their own world. This policy has removed all shackles placed on education and is giving autonomy to the students in the form of multiple entry and multiple exit. Initiatives such as Academic Credit Bank will free up the students from clutches and let them choose the best program, best time and best place to study. This new policy will remove the language divide and specially help the backward and tribal students who will get a chance to study in their mother tongue.”… Dr. Vikas Singh Vice Chancellor ITM University, Raipur 

“The pandemic and prolonged school closure has made implementation even more difficult for schools, who are currently struggling to provide continued learning to students. As a result, it is difficult to gauge the benefit students have had in this one year of NEP, just the way it is hard to read the wind quality in the middle of a storm. We should wait for the storm of Covid to settle down and then assess its implementation.”… Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, LEAD

The National Education Policy 2020, introduced with the purpose of bringing about pathbreaking reforms in the Indian education system, is a blueprint for an ‘Aatmanirbhar India’. It is poised to create opportunities for multidisciplinary and holistic learning environment and make education accessible for all. The emphasis now, should be on the effective implementation of the new education policy which will provide a strong foundation for our students to transform themselves, earn competitiveness of global standards and enhance their future prospects. Moreover, NEP provides ample scope for experiential learning. This is critical for 360 degree development of students and should be actively encouraged. I am optimistic on NEP and the profound impact it can have on Indian education.” …Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi, Founder, Goseeko

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