National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is one of the friendliest policies toward students that has been the first big attempt towards overhauling a redundant education system. It is inclusive, progressive, and adaptive to the evolving needs of the new generation. The NEP 2020 places greater focus on application over theory. With the new policies added, the focus shifts from learning-based education to skill-based education. New vocational training courses have been added for students from 6th grade onwards under the aegis of the National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education (NCIVE).
Thus, by formalising vocational training, the stigma attached to vocational training it is minimised and students are introduced to alternate career paths.
A ray of hope for academically weak students
A person’s intelligence cannot be measured by their school marks and many students perform poorly in schools, barely scraping through with passing marks. It affects their confidence levels and the intense pressure to score first-class or even pass debilitates their physical and mental development. Through the reforms under NEP 2020, such students have the option to drop out of subjects that are holding them back. So, if a student is weak in Mathematics or Sciences, or prefers courses in vernacular languages, they have the choice to take it up and still qualify to go to college.
Key Benefits of NEP
Some key benefits of NEP 2020 are –
• Practical skills – the focus of education will be on improving the students’ practical knowledge through workshops, hands-on teaching, and flexibility in choosing courses.
• Application of technological tools – knowledge of technology and its use is very pertinent. Thus, there will be an integration of technology into education with the use of ICT in the classroom.
• Digitisation of processes – students will have access to a digital library, e-content, online classes, and much more to help them study from anywhere.
• Employable soft skills – Businesses today place as much importance on the soft skills of a person as they do on their technical knowledge. The past decade has shown us how important it is to impart knowledge and understanding of ethical practices, law, communication skills and overall personality development.
• Life skills – with more project-based assignments and greater emphasis on classroom activities, students will be taught about teamwork, planning, management, and negotiations.
Making Learning about more than the subjects
The focus of NEP 2020 is to create an inclusive learning structure where no child is left behind and every child’s right to education is honoured. Thus, even students with learning disabilities, physical or mental disabilities, students with careers, or anyone unable to complete their High School education will be given an alternate route to help them qualify to earn their Senior Secondary and High School certifications. Proper channels have been created to enable them to be eligible for college education and pursue a degree programme in subjects of their choice.
Building a competitive spirit through a focus on career development
With a holistic learning approach that focuses more on practical application over rote learning, students are encouraged to be career focused. They can choose courses that will be aligned with their long-term aspirations, in the fields in which they wish to build their careers. Education institutions, including open schools, junior colleges, colleges, and foreign institutes are being encouraged to give students greater options to create learning programmes that are aligned with their interests.
Focusing on Skill Development
The purpose of education under NEP 2020 is to impart knowledge of employable skills among students. Thus, even students who have completed their Higher Secondary Certification will be able to use their vocational training and skills to find job opportunities. India has a vast population of youth under the age of 40 years and the best way to take advantage of all its manpower is to teach them skills that they can apply gainfully to create employment opportunities.
Post the implementation of NEP 2020, students can now focus clearly on their greater career goals rather than be stressed about their short-term stress caused by an inability to clear an exam.