“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings”

The above quote by Okakura sums up the goal of the New Education Policy of 2020. However, some changes, if not carefully executed, might do more harm than good. The recently announced NEP by the Ministry of Human Resource Development tries to
transform the thirty-four-year-old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986. It tries to meet the needs of the youth of 21st century India. However, the immediate challenge that comes to mind is that any educational reform can be implemented only by a consensus among the various states. To gather that from chief ministers of different political affiliations can become quite a

The NEP 2020 focuses on holistic development. Hence, it wants to eradicate irregularities and inconsistencies in the courses and improve the pedagogical structure. The problem that arises here is the restraining time limit that NEP is working upon. The deadline to achieve universal literacy and numeracy by 2025, only pinches on the quantitative aspect of learning, rather on quality and content. If this fundamental issue is not addressed, then any Education Policy is still a long way from home.

The next aspect of NEP is structural. Introducing the child to school at three years, Increasing the undergraduate degree to four years and the medium of instruction being the mother tongue till class 5, invited criticism. India being a diverse country starting with different linguistic capabilities, The new structural design requires a rethinking. A thorough discussion by various School boards and of Higher education will be the need of the hour to solve the issues, problems and challenges before its acceptance.
The NEP 2020 categorizes all the marginalised categories -SC, ST, OBC, minorities, the poor and disability (even special needs children) under one roof and calls them socially disadvantaged groups. It ignores the differences existing between 80% of population.

India ranks 144 out of 156 countries when it comes to the Happiness Index. NEP does not put a spotlight on the increasing suicide cases and improving mental health of the country. Considering all these limitations, it can be said that NEP 2020 is an ambitious vision, with great leads but suggests proposals which may exacerbate education inequality. It speaks of an ideal
situation which is disconnected with the present and misses on the details around the implementation.

Authored by: Kamya Kalra

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