New education policy to focus on teaching girls, better schools
NEW DELHI: The focus of the new National Education Policy(NEP) will be on girls’ education, strengthening public institutions with a thrust on traditional knowledge, special attention on language, sports and mathematics at the school level, and addressing regional inequality. It is learnt that school education could see a paradigm shift with changes like sports and other activities—which so far have been clubbed as "extra-curricular" or "co-curricular"— being treated as subjects in themselves. For higher education, the focus will be on affordability and access. The government is planning to put in place a "modern education policy" for the country before its term ends in May 2019. It is learnt that the draft being prepared by a committee headed by former Isro chief K Kasturirangan is in its final stages and will be presented to the Centre in March.
A human resource development ministry source said, "The draft is nearing completion. There has been a delay as many of the new schemes presented by this government were deliberated upon by the committee members while recommending thenew education policy.
The committee asked for an extension in December 2017." According to a member of the committee, the NEP might not bring cheer to private players in education as the policy is expected to crack the whip against commercialisation, including regulation for private coaching. Also, the focus will be on setting up higher education institutions in regions where they are lacking. The NEP is likely to come into force from April 2019 and the government is pushing for the policy as it was part of the BJP’s 2014 election promise, the source said.
The eight-member panel was supposed to submit its report in December but was given an extension till March 31. That will leave a little more than a year for the Modi government to prepare the final policy and present it to the cabinet. "The HRD ministry will deliberate on the report and make its final suggestions to the cabinet ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament," the source said.
The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. The new policy is getting shaped in Bengaluru as the technical secretariat for the policy drafting committee has been set up in the office of theNational Assessment and Accreditation Council(NAAC). A member of the committee said, "The new policy is focused on doing away with inequality in education."