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A Look At The Draft New Education Policy 2019

The committee for draft New Education Policy, headed by Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, submitted the draft to the central government on May 31, 2019. It was then released for public opinion and it has been a topic of discussion and debate on various grounds.

The first National Policy on Education was broadcast by the government of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1968. The second came during the government of Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, and the third one was broadcast in 1992 under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The New Education Policy envisions an India-centered education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all.

Some of the important features of the New Education Policy are:

· Free and compulsory education from pre-school to class 12th.
· Early childhood care and education for all children between the age group of 3-6.
· Extension of Right To Education Act 2009 to cover children of age 3-18.
· School complexes each comprising of multiple schools- including aanganwadis, vocational educational facilities, and an adult education center.
· The existing B.Ed. programme to be replaced by a four-year integrated B.Ed. programme.
· Ministry of Health and Education (MHRD) must be renamed as Ministry of Education in order to bring the focus back on education.
· Integration of technology into all levels of education
· Liberal and flexible courses with broad exposure.

These are sought to be achieved by the year 2025 and make India a base for education and knowledge that benefits all the children.

However, there has been a lot of criticism of the draft NEP. Some of the grounds include absence of the word secular from the document, inconsistency between chapters, ignorance of provisions for differently-abled children, and creation of school complexes. The NEP is also a little disconnected from reality of the Indian education system and rather than filling the gaps of past education policies, it moves towards a new one without acknowledging the failures of the past ones.

Even so, it has not come into effect yet and the draft is still undergoing research and modifications. If the NEP 2019 is able to overcome the present problems and transform the education system, it would be a new dawn for our country as a whole.

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