The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020is a major transformational reform policy in the education sector of India impacting school and higher education.A lot many documents, discussions, debates and programs have been conducted by several luminaries from various sections and multiple bodies in the country. This brief article focused on the higher education reforms.The essence of the policy is to provide holistic education which enables the students not only acquire knowledge but also skill that are required through an approach that exposes them to become confident and self-sustainable. Further, to carry this forward to place of work which they would be embarking on. The policy directs the students to gain field experiences (internships), empirical research in the field they pursue their education, involving all the stakeholders and thus creating an ecosystem for wholesome education by removing the barriers between various disciplines. A complete flexible system of resources to be made available for the learners for the free and autonomous learning styles. One of the reforms “Multiple entry/exit” from the studies would ensure that all the students join higher education institutions would never leave empty handed and also said to be equipped with certificate or diploma course based-on the time of the exit, which means she/he can secure a suitable job to earn his/her livelihood and support the family.
I have strong feeling that the NEP 2020 would be a successful mission drawing upon my association and experience as an expert evaluator, more than a decade, in the country’s two accreditation agencies, namely National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA). The first agency deals with the institutional accreditation whereas the later with program specific accreditation. Both of them primarily ensure the institutions/programs are facilitating educational activities in the Quality Assurance mode.
This progressive shift towards a more student centric approach than the teacher centric approach. The curriculum design, pedagogy, and assessment shall be outcome-based. Outcome-based Education provides a plethora of opportunities, in the three aspects (curriculum-pedagogy-assessment) for the students by following a student-centered learning approach. It has a clear goal to impact their lives positively committing to excellence & innovation through quality assurance approach. The role of faculty become facilitating and engaging the students through innovative activities to ensure that they would to reach the desired target. Teachers need to decide what skills are required to master a particular subject, and then, they design the curriculum keeping the same in mind.
The outcome-based education ensures the measurement of a student through a well-defined/designed learning activities and various other innovations in the teaching learning methods. For a quite some time the accreditation of institution was voluntary, but from the past 2-3 years was made mandatory and UGC/AICTE has also brought in several systematic change in approving new programs which mandate that the institution must be accredited for fetching the requisite enhancement.
Pending all the challenges in a huge country like ours where a lot of diversity and various types/levels of institutions, rural/urban, public/private, state/centrally funded HEIs, if NEP is implemented in its true vision, the new reforms certainly make India stronger and at par with the leading countries of the world.The NEP 2020 would certainly meet the desired objective of creating a productive workforce that can make a sustainable contribution at national and international milieu.