NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020: FROM 10+2 TO 5(3+2)+3+3+4
Profile of the Author: Devarshi Malviya is a student of Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla. He describes himself as a philanthropist, optimistic, and enthusiastic.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think”
-Albert Einstein 
From the very adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950, the Central and State Governments have been responsible for delivering quality education in India. Since then, an array of commissions and policies have been instituted and implemented. The first commission established was the University Education Commission, 1948 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Radhakrishnan. It was succeeded by the School Education Commission of 1952, the Indian Education Commission of 1964, National Policy on Education of 1968, and the draft of National Policy on Education of 1979. The system was modified a few times, nonetheless, with the introduction of the National Policy on Education (‘NPE’) of 1986, there was a fundamental change that was it primarily focused on the education of the deprived sections of the society that were the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, and women. Furthermore, the National Policy on Education, 1992 stressed moral value education among students. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Right to Education Act, 2009 were also revolutionizing in respect.
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2019-20
The National Education Policy (‘NEP’), 2020 has been approved by Union Cabinet chaired by Honourable PM Modi on 29th July 2020.  By conceptualizing prominent reforms for both school education and higher studies, the NEP has replaced the 34-year-old NPE of 1986. This policy is a game-changer in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 as it focuses on transforming India into a global knowledge superpower. This will be accomplished with a holistic, multidisciplinary, and flexible structure of education for both school and college because it is the need of the 21st century to nurture the unique minds of the future generation. The 5 foundational pillars of the Policy are access to education, equality in education, quality, affordability, and accountability of education.
EDUCATIONAL REFORMS AT SCHOOL LEVEL
Universal Accessibility of the School Education at All Levels
From pre-school to secondary education, this policy focuses on universal accessibility. Article 21A of the Indian Constitution envisages free and compulsory education to the children of 6-14 years.  The intrinsic problem of students dropping out after 14 years due to various financial and geographical reasons has intensified in the recent past, consequentially increasing the unemployment rate. To mitigate this concern, NEP provides for the creation of innovative education centres with infrastructural support that will bring the students back into the mainstream. This will be achieved by advocating both formal and non-formal learning techniques and keeping a track of the students at different learning levels of education. Moreover, the NEP provides for open learning for classes 3, 5, and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools. It affords secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12 by undertaking adult literacy and life enrichment programme, and vocational courses.
New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure for Education and Early Childhood Care
The 5(3+2)+3+3+4 curricular structure of school curricula will rescind the older structure of 10+2. This new structure will extend to 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The pre-school/ Anganwadis are duly recognized by this structure. The age group of 3-6 years is covered under it with a total of 15-year education while focusing extensively on these 3 years as they are the crucial and primitive stages of education.
For the first educational block, a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (‘NCPFECCE’) will be prepared by NCERT. For better development of early childhood care and education, the teachers and Anganwadi workers will be trained as per the Early Childhood Care and Education (‘ECCE’) Curriculum and pedagogy. The Ministries of Human Resource Development (‘MHRD’), Health and Family Welfare (‘HFW’), Women and Child Development (‘WCD’), and Tribal Affairs will make joint efforts in planning and implementing ECCE.
Foundational Numeracy and Literacy
National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be set up by the Ministry of HRD. Ministry aims to achieve it by 2025 for all the students of Grade 3 in the primary schools. To foster the same and for better implementation of plans, a National Book Promotion Policy will be framed.
School Curricula and Pedagogical Reforms
For the holistic development of students, the school curricula will be reduced to develop essential learning, analytical and critical thinking, and acquire 21st century skills. The focus on experimental learning will help students achieve these skills in an enhanced manner. The distinction between different streams of learning shall be removed with no bifurcation between extra-curricular activities and curricular activities, thus, providing more flexibility in subject selection.
National Curricular Framework for School Education, 2020-21 will be framed by NCERT with the objective of the comprehensive development of students. Additionally, the vocational education of the learners inclusive of internships will commence from 6th Grade.
Multilingualism and the Education in Mother Tongue
Mother tongue, regional language, or local language shall be the medium of instructions up to 5th Grade which may preferably extend up to 8th Grade. The three-language formula developed will also provide Sanskrit to all students up to 12th Grade. The literature of India and other classical languages will be made optional. Learning foreign languages will be open to pursuing at the secondary level. Furthermore, students are free to choose any language as no language will be mandatorily imposed on them. Correspondingly, National and State curriculum materials will be developed for hearing impaired students in the process of standardizing the Indian Sign Language ('ISL').
Reforms in Assessment
From summative to formative assessment, the NEP will transform the system of assessments to refine them towards the aim of the policy that is more competency-based tests evaluating skills such as critical thinking, conceptual clarity, etc. Also, the board exams for 10th and 12th will continue with an aim of holistic development, whereas, exams of only 3rd, 5th, and 8th students would be conducted by the authority specifically constituted for this purpose that is Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (‘PARAKH’).
Inclusive and Equitable Education
The NEP 2020 makes sure that no student misses the opportunity to learn for any reason thus, Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (‘SEDGs’) will receive special emphasis for this purpose. SEDGs include gender, geographical, socio-cultural, identities, and disabilities. Special Education Zones and Gender Inclusion Fund will be created for these disadvantaged groups. Similarly, for children with disabilities educators shall be specialized with cross-disability training and provide requisite resources, appropriate technology-based tools, assistive devices, and other support mechanisms to encourage maximum participation in schools at all levels. Bal Bhavans will be established to participate in art-related, play-related, and career-related activities. When free these infrastructures can also be used in Samajik Chetna Kendras.
The National Council for Teacher Education will develop a National Professional Standards for Teachers by 2020 with the help of NCERT, SCERTs, expert organizations, and teachers. A transparent process of recruitment with merit-based promotions will be incorporated. It will further include multi-source periodic performance appraisals and progression path mechanism.
Certification for School Education
State School Standards Authority will be established for transparent and fair self-disclosure of the regulatory information. This policy in definite terms provides that a separate system for regulation, policymaking, and performing an operation related to academic matters will be instituted. A School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework will also be established by the SCERTs with due deliberation.
Implementation of Policy
Phase 1 for 2021-22 initiates the implementation of one year of the pre-primary school along with the 3-month preparatory module for Grade 1. It will also encompass the implementation of new curriculum and assessments for Class 9th by 2022 and incorporate the same for Class 10th by 2023.
Phase 2 for 2023-24 initiates the expansion of 1 year of pre-primary schools and Anganwadis with the implementation of a new curriculum and assessments for Class 11th. The same for Class 12th by 2025.
After replacing 34 years old policy, NEP inculcates holistic experience-based learning in India. This policy comprehensively comprises many aspects of an education system such as universal accessibility, foundational numeracy and literacy, school curricula and pedagogical reforms, multilingualism, reforms in assessment, inclusive and equitable education, teacher recruitment, certification for school education, etc. It also aims to implement it in a phased manner for exceptional results.
Q. According to the National Education Policy 2020 by how much percent the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised?
Ans. According to the National Education Policy 2020, Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035.
Q. Who was the Chairman of the Committee constituted for drafting National education Policy, 2020?
Ans. A ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was constituted in June 2017 under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Human Resource Development Minister on 31 May 2019.
 Quote, <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1921/einstein/biographical/> accessed August 2020.
 ‘Cabinet Approves National Education Policy 2020, paving way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country’ (Press Information Bureau 29 July 2020) <https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642049> accessed August 2020.
 Ministry of Human Resource Development, ‘National Education Policy’ (MHRD July 2020) <https://www.mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English.pdf> accessed August 2020.
 Ministry of education, ‘Right to Education’ <https://www.mhrd.gov.in/rte> accessed August 2020.