New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, May 7, advocated developing a hybrid system of online and offline learning to avoid overexposure of schoolchildren to technology, as he chaired a high-level meeting to review the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP). According to an official statement, Modi said the new policy is being rolled out in a bid to ensure equity, access, inclusivity and quality.
The PM said that in the two years of NEP being implemented, school education has seen a number of changes including special efforts to track out of school children and bring them back into the mainstream, to introduction of multiple entry and exit in higher education. He further pointed out that many transformative reforms have been initiated that will define and lead the progress of the country as we enter the ‘Amrit Kaal’.
Multi Modal Education
With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in India reported a major learning loss due to the shift to online education, lockdowns, etc. However, online, open and multi-modal learning have been aggressively promoted by schools and higher education institutions, HEI’s to combat this learning loss.
Initiatives such as SWAYAM. DIKSHA, SWAYAM Prabha, Virtual labs and many other resource portals have been created and have seen a sharp rise in student registrations. In addition to this, the University Grants Commission had also issued new guidelines for ODL and Online programmes many HEI’s began to offer online programmes.
Multidisciplinary Education at HEI’s
PM Modi was informed regarding the guidelines of the Multiple Entry and Exit Scheme, MEES under NEP 2020 and the launch of the Academic Bank of Credit, ABC on the DigiLocker platform. He was also informed regarding UGC’s decision which allows students to pursue two academic programmes at the same time. In addition to this, the ‘National Higher Education Qualification Framework, NHEQF and its progress were also discussed.
Apart from the points mentioned above, PM Modi was also informed regarding the progress in promoting Innovations and startups in Higher Education Institutions. He was also apprised of the launch of the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievement, ARIIA in 2021 in alignment with the national education policy.
Promotion of Indian Languages
Emphasis was paid to the introduction of multi-linguality in Indian education mainly to ensure that the lack of knowledge of the English language does not contribute to the lack of education in a student. This is also inclusive of Indian Sign Language, ISL. Efforts from NTA, AICTE to introduce other regional languages of India as well as push out content were all taken into account during the meeting.
National Curriculum Framework, NCF
National Curriculum Framework, NCF is being formulated by the National Steering Committee headed by ex-ISRO chairman Dr. K Kasturirangan. NCF is being formulated mainly for school education. As per Press Information Bureau, PIB, the prime minister was informed of initiatives such as “quality ECCE in Balavatika, NIPUN Bharat, Vidya Pravesh, examination reforms and innovative pedagogies like Art-Integrated Education, toy-based pedagogy”.
PM Modi added further that the creation and establishment of a hybrid system of offline and online learning should be developed too in order to avoid overexposure of technology for school children. The call was also made to make databases of Anganwadi Centres better so that they can be seamlessly integrated with schools at the time of transition.