The Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) has released the draft of the National Education Policy 2019. The drafting committee, set up in 2017, led by the Chairman and eminent scientist K Kasturirangan submitted the draft report to the HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal and Minister of State for HRD, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre on May 31 in the presence of R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary Department of Higher Education and Rina Ray, Secretary Department of School Education & Literacy and other senior officials of the Ministry.
The committee has proposed to rename HRD as Ministry of Education (MOE).
Panel led by K Kasturirangan submits draft report of National Education Policy to MHRD
In school education, the committee proposes a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education. The Committee also recommends the extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.
It suggests restructuring school curriculum and pedagogy in 5+3+3+4 design which is 5 years of foundational stage (pre-primary school, grade 1 and grade 2), 3 years of preparatory (grade 3, grade 4 and grade 5), 3 years of middle stage (grade 6, grade 7 and grade 8) and 4 years of high stage (grade 9, grade 10, grade 11 and grade 12).
It also seeks to reduce the content load in the school education curriculum.
There will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc., will be curricular, it says.
One of the objectives of the draft policy is to achieve foundational literacy in grade 5th and beyond by 2025. “…we are in a severe learning crisis with respect to these most basic skills: a large proportion of students currently in elementary school – perhaps over 5 crore in number – have not attained foundational literacy and numeracy,” it says. Foundational literacy is the ability to read and comprehend basic text and the ability to carry out basic addition and subtraction with Indian numerals.
It also proposes an expansion in the midday meal programme which would include a nutritious breakfast and a midday meal for pre-primary and primary school students. “This will help make the hours between breakfast and lunch significantly more productive, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” it says.
The Committee has also recommended teaching of Hindi, English and one regional language in the non-Hindi states. For Hindi-speaking states, the committee has recommended teaching of Hindi, English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of the country.
The committee proposes for massive transformation in teacher education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation or education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/ colleges. The four-year integrated stage-specific BEd programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
In higher education, a restructuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions is proposed: focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching, focused on high-quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research, and high-quality teaching focused on undergraduate education. This will be driven by two missions — Mission Nalanda and Mission Takshashila.
A new apex body, Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog, is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and the states.
The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
Propounding major changes in the structure of higher education regulation, the report proposes the formation of National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) as the sole regulator for higher education, including professional education. It also seeks to transform the UGC to Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for disbursing developmental grants and fellowships across the entire higher education sector including professional education.
The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity, it says.
Several new policy initiatives– for promoting internationalisation of higher education, improvising the quality of open and distance learning, to enhance participation of under represented groups, and eliminate gender, social category, and regional gaps in education outcomes have also been recommended.
It has also recommended setting up three new national institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI).
The MHRD has sought feedback from stakeholders on the draft report. Comments and suggestions can be submitted till June 30 on [email protected]