NEP: All that Glitters is not Gold

The government recently came up with the long-due, and largely welcomed, New Education Policy 2020. All of Social Media and national news channels have been flooded with innumerable debates and discussions over the same; some giving a political angle to it, others genuinely analysing what does it have to offer. On the periphery, hands down, it is not just a liberal shift in academics, but rather also takes into account a futuristic approach towards education. All this said and done, there are still a few points of contention around this.

Various changes that have been pleasantly welcomed, are the ones such as the introduction of coding, inviting top 100 global universities to establish campuses in India,
introduction of the credit transfer system so on and so forth. The credit transfer system and multiple exit point system, are two of the biggest highlights of this new policy, but there is some amount of ambiguity left about how will it actually materialise. For instance, the concept of multiple exit points coupled with the unique accreditation method revolves around granting a certificate, diploma and degree depending on the exit year.

The question is what exactly will be the recognition and validity of these different pieces of paper. The idea of multiple exit points rest on the notion that there will be various opportunities available for people with all the different types of accreditations respectively. If it is merely reduced to a proof for the credit transfer system, and doesn’t guarantee employment opportunities in its own right, then it would only fulfil the purpose of allowing flexibility in completing undergraduate education.

It will not the materialise the concept of dropout-and-work, which might not sound as a favourable option to many, but is certainly playing a big role in shaping the employment market environment in the West. Another point of contention exists around the rationale behind teaching children in their mother tongue until class 5th. On one side, it appeals to the masses as this innately intends to foster and protect regional languages. But on the flip side, the question arises how to inculcate children who’ve been taught core subjects like mathematics in their
regional language with the ones who have been taught in English; YES, it is an option and not a compulsion to learn in your mother tongue. Although making it an option hasn’t solved the problem, but added more to it. When all students from various languages modes are streamlined and brought together to pursue their education in one language, it would lead to both a logistical and pedagogical issue for schools. A viable alternative to this could have been making it compulsory to study regional languages in a more comprehensive manner, but the core subjects would have been better off, as they are

right now. The implementation of many of the ambitious steps in this policy is fairly dubious; no clear plan of action has been suggested yet, but just a broad set deadline which is 20 years away. What has not been taken into account is the possibility, with the current pace of globalisation and monumental pedagogical changes, that within this period there might be many monumental changes which may make a few provisions of the NEP completely redundant.

Thus, even though as of today it seems futuristic, it may have to amended over the course of its implementation. All in all, this new policy is laudable on paper in the first look, the second look does make one question and analyse a few things and the implementation is what everyone eagerly awaits to have a look at.

Chirag Bansal

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