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1. UNDERLYING THEME: The need for changes in the educational system needs to be understood and how the draft policy on education aims to achieve it
The Draft National educational policy designed by a committee headed by K.Kasturirangan aims to replace the 1986 policy. It seeks to address the challenges of: (i) access, (ii) equity, (iii) quality, (iv) Affordability, and (v) accountability faced by the current education system.
There are many important features in this policy, but we need to pick up the important ones so as to discuss its implications on the education system of India. It would be easy to divide the topics based on Schooling reforms, Higher education reforms, Governance reforms
1. Creation of a National Education Commission or Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, as an apex body for education, to be headed by the Prime Minister. This body will be responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis
2. The Ministry of Human Resources and Development must be renamed as the Ministry of Education in order to bring focus back on education.
3. The Draft Policy reaffirmed the commitment of spending 6% of GDP as public investment in education.
1. The draft Policy recommends extending the ambit of the RTE Act to include early childhood education and secondary school education. This would extend the coverage of the Act to all children between the ages of three to 18 years.
2. The current structure of school education must be restructured on the basis of the development needs of students. The stress led on foundational learning is welcome.
3. Proposes State Census Examinations in classes three, five and eight. Further, it recommends restructuring the board examinations to test only core concepts, skills and higher order capacities.
4. School infrastructure: multiple public schools should be brought together to form a school complex. A complex will consist of one secondary school (classes nine to twelve) and all the public schools in its neighborhood that offer education from pre-primary till classes eight. The school complexes will also include anganwadis, vocational education facilities, and an adult education center.
1. Set up National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) as an independent authority which would replace the existing individual regulators in higher education
2. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an accreditation body under the UGC. The draft Policy recommends separating NAAC from the UGC into an independent and autonomous body.
3. Establishment of new higher educational institutions: Currently, higher educational institutions can only be set up by Parliament or state legislatures. The draft Policy proposes that these institutions could be allowed to be set up through a Higher Education Institution Charter from NHERA.
4. Restructuring of higher education institutions: Higher education institutions will be restructured into three types: (i) research universities focusing equally on research and teaching; (ii) teaching universities focusing primarily on teaching; and (iii) colleges focusing only on teaching at undergraduate levels
5. The draft Policy recommends establishing a National Research Foundation, an autonomous body, for funding, mentoring and building the capacity for quality research in India.
1. The NEP takes a clear stand for a scientific temper, critical thinking and associated capacities, and for our constitutional values.
Note: 1) you can divide your answers under more such headings. 2) Make sure your points are brief and to the point. Some of the points over here are elaborated here only for your understanding. 3) Give your analysis of the above features in brief. Whether it has positive or negative implication?
End it on a high note, saying reforms in education were urgent as last modification was 30 years back to suit the current socio-economic situation of the country