The Cabinet Ministry on Wednesday gave the green flag to New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and renamed the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) as the Ministry of Education.
One of the key features of the NEP 2020 is scrapping the 10+2 system and instigating 5+3+3+4 structure of School Education. Discarding the 10 years + 2 years structure that is inclined to a rigid method of teaching, the policy aims to construct an inclusive foundation to secondary education.
The new system doesn’t mean additional years in school. The actual number of years that a child spends within an educational system remains intact. The new system brings into the fold the playschools within the sphere of “formal education”, nursery and kindergarten classes will be merged with class 1 and class 2. The system is set to remove the fence between vocational and academic and curricular and extracurricular activities.
Here is the explanation of the new 5+3+3+4 structure
Foundation Stage- 5 years (age 3-8, pre-school + class 1 and 2)- In this stage, the children will be engaged in multilevel learning and play-based activities and pivoting on the development of language skills.
Preparatory Stage- 3 years (age 8-11, class 3-5)- The stage includes play, discovery, activity-based and interactive learning and cognitive development of a child. The focus is still on language and numeracy skills. Children will learn three languages, giving the state the authority to decide the languages. Medium of instruction till fifth standard will be the regional language.
Middle Stage- 3 years (age 11-14, class 6-8)-The children will learn the basics of science, social science, mathematics, arts and humanities. Experiential learning to improve the skills of the children is the sole objective. Here from the pedagogical structure shifts to a flexible form of learning. Time to wrap up the rote learning process and buckle up the critical thinking.
Secondary Stage- 4 years (age 14-18, class 9-12)- The stage supports the students in critical and analytical thinking, multidisciplinary study and students can choose subjects without any stream restrictions. The policy abolishes boxing students into different streams allowing them to be in a pond with varied subjects (multi-stream system). A student can select History with Physics and Accountancy, bringing the age-old war of streams to an end.
While in the existing system 10+2, a child after attending the playschools gets enrolled in a school at the age of six (class 1). From six years to 16 years the child completes primary (class 1 to 4, age 6 to 10) and secondary schools (class 5 to 10, age 10 to 16). In class 11 a student selects stream and studies the core subjects for two years (class 11-12, age 16-18).
There is a cumulative change in the examination pattern as well. In the initial years, the assessment will be on the child’s development. The board exams will test core concepts and application of knowledge. The NEP 2020 visions to level India with the leading countries of the world by introducing this scientific approach of education.