NEP 2020, Received Mixed Responses. Although It Does Seem To Be Quite Promising.
Unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (‘MHRD‘), the National Education Policy, 2020 ( NEP 2020 ) is in every way transformative. While the policy reflects on many issues, including the need for early childhood treatment, comprehensive schooling and the renovation of the new curriculum, the interplay of education and technology is an inherent theme that runs through the policy. India has turned itself into a ‘information-intensive community’ over the last decade, and there is a growing need to embrace the use of technology in education. In this respect, the Policy states that ‘extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, elimination of language barriers, improvement of access as well as curriculum preparation and management’ would be one of the key values governing the education system.
Although, the reaction to these enhancements has been mixed. They do, though, seek to ensure the consistency and accessibility of education for everyone. Living in an age where degrees are simply not enough, in different fields there is an emphasis on skill-building and art has been regarded as a subject and not just a hobby. A 5+3+3+4 curricular structure is another major shift in the revision of the 10+2 school program structure. This applies to 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years of age, respectively. It will require 12 years of schooling and Anganwadi and pre-schooling for three years.
With immersive learning replacing in-person learning environments, students and instructors have been pushed to re-imagine traditional learning and teaching methods in the new ‘pandemic circumstances’. It is important to launch the policy at such a crucial juncture, as it outlines the educational vision for future generations and will be a key instrument for creating a ‘self-reliant’ India. A lot of thoughtful additions and regulatory changes mean a brighter future where India’s education meets optimum levels. Needless to mention, it took time for the authorities to integrate technology’s position in making it much better. NEP would prove beneficial in the following areas:
The NEP acknowledges that technology is important in helping teachers, bridging the language divide between teachers and students, building digital libraries, popularizing language learning and ensuring greater access to education (specifically for differently-abled children). It is also recommended that coding be implemented as an essential ability that students need to learn in school curricula. The policy also states that technology can be an important tool for promoting teacher education and promotes the use of online teacher preparation technology platforms.
Vocational and Higher Studies
The need to introduce technology in technical education (legal/health) and to implement technology to promote the target of reaching 100% literacy (through the implementation of quality technology-based adult learning options) has also been put forward. The NEP acknowledges that technology is essential in solving diverse social problems and aims to encourage interdisciplinary science and innovation. “By 2030, all institutions that offer either vocational or general education will aim to develop organically into institutions/clusters that offer both seamlessly and in an integrated manner.” The setting up of incubation centers and technology creation centers has been promoted by higher education institutions. The strategy envisages the development of a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) to act as a medium for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to improve school and higher education research, evaluation preparation, and administration. ‘Technology usage and integration to optimize various facets of education can be endorsed and implemented, provided that these approaches are rigorously and transparently tested in specific environments prior to their scaling-up. The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be established as an independent entity to provide a venue for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology, both for school and higher education, to improve research, appraisal, preparation, administration, and so forth. The goal of the NETF will be to promote decision-making on the implementation, rollout and use of technology by offering up-to-date information and analysis, as well as the ability to collaborate and exchange best practices with the leadership of education agencies, state and central governments and other stakeholders.
The establishment of the Academic Credit Bank to store academic credits obtained from different HEIs digitally to promote the award of degrees based on credits earned over a span of time is also a phased step introduced by the Regulation.
The emphasis of the NEP on the use of technology to ensure the efficacy and accountability of regulatory bodies, such as the State School Standards Authority, the Higher Education Commission of India and its four verticals, is an important feature (National Higher Education Regulatory Council, National Accreditation Council, Higher Education Grants Council and the General Education Council).
The Strategy acknowledges the problems raised by the widespread use of Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) and highlights the need for improvements related to expanded use of AI across industries to be implemented. The NETF has been charged with defining and categorizing new technologies on the basis of their ‘potential’ and ‘estimated disruption timeline’ and providing a quarterly review of the same to the MHRD, which will then formally classify certain technologies that need adequate education system responses. The Strategy is a leader in the light of new ‘disruptive technology’ as it notes the need to raise awareness and conduct studies on different facets of emerging disruptive technologies, including data handling and security issues.
The strategy calls for investing in digital infrastructure, the growth of online teaching systems and resources, the establishment of virtual laboratories and digital libraries, the training of teachers to become high-quality producers of online material, the design and implementation of online evaluations, the setting of criteria for online teaching and learning content, technology and pedagogy. The strategy envisages the establishment of a dedicated unit to create digital technology, digital content and capacity building in order to oversee the e-education needs of both schools and higher education institutions.
Other Notable Benefits:
- Good foundations of learning and robust academic development.
- Comprehensive development for students in all classes
- Better Evaluation of Students.
- Production of capacity.
- Flexibility in subject selection.
- Delivery of material in vernacular languages. Material that should be accessible in electronic form.
- Infrastructure-agnostic, cloud-based distribution frameworks for quick and full access to education for everyone, which can be viewed from anywhere.
- Multimedia platforms with a smooth learning curve to foster accelerated use by educators & students.
- Seamless monitoring solutions that can keep track of the development of a learner from primary to university level.
- Intelligent therapy methodologies for students to determine the correct learning path.
- Smart reskilling proposal for educators to fill the divide between the business and the classroom.