Analysis of National Education Policy (NEP) - 2020

India has published its new education policy called National Education Policy (NEP) - 2020.

In this post, we are going to discuss the following questions:

  1. What is the impact of NEP on school education?
  2. What is the impact of NEP in higher education?
  3. Does NEP impact entrance examinations such as NEET / IIT-JEE?
  4. When NEP will be implemented?

What is the impact of NEP on school education?

NEP introduces major changes in school education. It proposed to change the existing 10+2 system to 5 + 3 + 3 + 4, as shown below.

The Foundational Stage will consist of five years of flexible, multilevel, play/activity-based
learning. NEP recommends using only mother language in this stage.

The Preparatory Stage will comprise three years of education building on the play, discovery, and activity-based pedagogical and curricular style of the Foundational Stage, and will also begin to incorporate some light textbooks as well as aspects of more formal but interactive classroom learning, in order to lay a solid groundwork across subjects, including reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, science, and mathematics.

The Middle Stage will comprise three years of education, building on the pedagogical and curricular style of the Preparatory Stage, but with the introduction of subject teachers for learning and discussion of the more abstract concepts in each subject that students will be ready for at this stage across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities. Experiential learning within each subject, and explorations of relations among different subjects, will be encouraged and emphasized despite the introduction of more specialized subjects and subject teachers.

The Secondary Stage will comprise of four years of multidisciplinary study, building on the subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style of the Middle Stage, but with greater depth, greater critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, and greater flexibility and student choice of subjects. In particular, students would continue to 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, including at a more specialized school, if so desired.
By multidisciplinary it means that there will be no hard gap between science and arts. Arts students can opt for science subjects such as physics, maths, or chemistry and vice-versa.

Examinations will only be conducted at the final year of each level (except class 10 Board).
There will be no changes in the requirement of board examinations at class 10 and class 12 levels. Board exams will be continued to be held with minor improvements.

What is the impact of NEP in higher education?

NEP emphasized multidisciplinary higher education institutions (HEIs). It recommends combining fragmented small institutions to multidisciplinary universities enrolling at least 3000 students.

The structure and lengths of degree programs shall be adjusted accordingly. The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications.

  1. A certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas.
  2. A diploma after 2 years of study.
  3. A Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme.
  4. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme,

An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned.

The 4-year programme may also lead to a degree with Research if the student completes a rigorous research project in their major area(s) of study as specified by the HEI.

NEP also introduces changes in Master’s programmes:

  1. There may be a 2-year programme with the second year devoted entirely to research for those who have completed the 3-year Bachelor’s programme.
  2. For students completing a 4-year Bachelor’s programme with Research, there could be a 1-year Master’s programme.
  3. There may be an integrated 5-year Bachelor’s/Master’s programme.
  4. Undertaking a Ph.D. shall require either a Master’s degree or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree with Research. The M.Phil. programme shall be discontinued.

Does NEP impact entrance examinations such as NEET / IIT-JEE?

There will be no impact on the way these examinations are conducted. IIT-JEE and NEET test the understanding level and problem-solving capacity of students. The fundamentals of science will remain the same irrespective of the education policy.

Irrespective of that, to study engineering courses you will still need to take Physics, Maths, and Chemistry as subjects and to study medical science you will still need to take Biology, Physics, and Chemistry as subjects.

When NEP will be implemented?

NEP sets 2030 as the deadline for implementation. Some states have already started implementing a few recommendations. Karnataka is the first state to start NEP implementation, Haryana is also planning to complete NEP implementation by 2025.

Details about NEP-2020 can be found in the official document