We’ve all sat in our classrooms, slumped into our chairs, hand over our chins, bags collapsed onto the ground, wondering why we are learning the things we are learning. Who cares about Taxonomic classification? Why do we have to learn Quadratic equations? If anyone tries to tell me I need to know what Mughal architecture’s features are, I will walk out of this class. Yeah, sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is what we all think about during those six, seven, eight hours of school when we are not thinking about food. Why? Here is the truth of the matter: the education system.
How can the education system be broken when it so integral to our society? The educations we provide determines the communities we build. It is a fundamental component that defines who we will become. It makes us well-rounded, contributing members of the country, and leads us towards progress and, eventually, enlightenment. Enter: The New Education Policy (NEP 2020). It makes grand promises about structural reforms, about an educational reset, a better system. While this may or may not be true, it certainly does show commitment to rearranging its priorities and putting its students’ well-being at the front and center. It emphasizes the importance of learning outcomes and maintains confidence that the new system will offer a more personalized education, full of choices, that the students will get to make. Now, that sounds brilliant, yes? But, what does NEP 2020 say?
A Multilingual Approach to Teaching
Multilingualism is one of the foremost things outlined in NEP 2020. All this means that teaching will happen in a variety of languages. Studies show that children who are up bilingual or trilingual are much more intelligent than those who are not. Encouraging this sort of skill in languages will only ever benefit the student. But, more importantly, it is because India is a land of diverse cultures and languages. (There are so many local communities that speak languages you have never even heard of.) It is our responsibility to preserve these cultures and learn them as best as we can, and it is in the government’s best interest to promote that. Students will be learning additional languages; they will be taught subjects like Science and Math in those languages up to the fifth grade. They even have a three-language formula that says so. For this purpose, more language teachers will be recruited into the workforce, and more textbooks are printed in regional languages. (Think of the possibilities!)
A Multidisciplinary Way of Thinking
Multi-disciplinary is a word often used but rarely understood. In simple terms: It is a way of learning that combines several disciplines and fields of study and provides a broad-based education. Sound familiar? It is frequently used in college brochures to define their liberal approach to learning and teaching. But NEP 2020 assures us that we don’t have to wait for higher education to become familiar with this model. Science, Arts, and Commerce will become a thing of the past. By eliminating the three different streams system, students will no longer have to restrict themselves to a limited set of subjects. Students will have more flexibility in what they can study and will have much more choice in selecting fields of study as they align with their interests. For instance, if History is your passion, but you also like chemical bonds, and also interested in business, you can study all these subjects at the same time! No worries. The main objective here is to help students be more collaborative in their methods and malleable in their thinking and make sure they reach their fullest potentials.
Promoting Holistic Development
Sometimes, we cannot bear to sit in our classrooms. We itch to get out, walk around for a minute because, inside those four walls, those Physics principles are just that—they are principles. Sometimes, we need to see for ourselves what they truly mean. We need to drop a stone in a tank of water repeatedly to understand the Archimedes Principle. We need to go to planetariums to learn the names of different constellations. We need to look away from our textbooks to learn from the world. That is what holistic learning proposes. Education will happen outside of classrooms, just as much it will happen inside. They will be creative, engaging, and focus on learning for the sake of learning. It will be more physical, practical, grounded in how things function in the real world. So, more vocational programs, more internships, and more school sessions without textbooks, so that we can cultivate students who are as street-smart as they are book-smart.
A Polished Perspective on Examinations
A lot of us remember thinking, “Everything will be okay as long as I pass,” right? Our goal wasn’t to learn; it was to write this exam and pass. So, you can see how the current education system fails. But what is worse is when we look at the impact the “coaching culture” of today has on us. It is expensive for the parents, grueling on the children, and relies on results rather than learning. It has made education dangerous, dysfunctional, and competitive to the point of toxicity. NEP 2020 plans to stagger examinations to change this outlook, allowing for more formative assessments than summative ones. Small tests, quizzes, and oral presentations will become the norm; strengthening high-order skills like creativity, critical thinking, and logical problem solving will become the objective of testing. And, maybe, all those hours playing Tetris will finally be worth something!
Promoting Technological Literacy
The world is changing rapidly, and technology is at the core of this advancement. The only way to move is forward. We need to adapt to the technology of today. We need to be on our toes, or it will leave us in the dust. But the real goal here is, we need to contribute to it. Thus, with the implementation of NEP 2020, technology will become a significant part of Indian education. By training every student how to use it, it will be teaching the future of the country to be technologically skilled. It assures us that students will learn how to code, how to program AIs, and how to design them, and at some point, hopefully, become their bosses.
This sort of education is integral to the nation’s growth and well-being, as well as the self. Promoting learning outcomes such as these will decide the country’s success and help combat the problems that we face in these times. It will also strengthen national unity while also preserving the diversity that makes us unique and allow us to compete and collaborate with the international community effectively to help with the world’s advancement.