February 2022 Yojan Magazine: National Education Policy 2020

Yojana Magazine is an important source of material for the UPSC exam. The monthly magazine provides details of major government schemes and programmes in various domains. Moreover, coming from the government, it is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Yojana, exclusively for the IAS Exam.

Chapter 1: NEP-2020:Visions and Pathways

New Education Policy 2020

  • NEP-2020 is an inclusive framework focusing on the elementary level of education to higher education in the country.
  • It will replace the National Policy on Education-1986.
  • It outlines the vision of India’s new education system.
  • NEP 2020 focuses on five pillars: Affordability, Accessibility, Quality, Equity, and Accountability – to ensure continual learning.

Distinctive Thrust of New Education Policy

  1. Universalisation of Education
    1. The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims at the universalization of education from preschool to secondary level.
    2. NEP-2020 has a target of 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), in school education by 2030.
  2. Curricular and Pedagogical Restructuring
    1. The conventional 10+2 school curricula structure is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
    2. This structure, when broken up into corresponding grades, is:
      1. Three years of anganwadi or preschool + two years in primary school in grades 1-2 covering ages 3 to 8 years
      2. The ‘preparatory stage’ covering ages 8 to 11 years or grades 3-5
      3. The ‘middle stage’ covering ages 11 to 14 years or grades 6-8
      4. The ‘secondary stage’ covering ages 14 to 18 years in two phases – grades 9-10 in the first and grades 11-12 in the second
  3. Equity and Inclusion in Education
    1. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisages equitable and inclusive education for all.
    2. The NEP 2020 recognizes high dropout rates among socioeconomic strata and vulnerable minorities.
  4. Inclusion of new Pedagogical system for Early Child Care Education
    1. Inclusive education within the Early Childhood Development settings has been identified as the most equitable practice for life-long learning for all children.
    2. The inclusion of this system will help children of early age to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of cognitive and socio-emotional-ethical development.
  5. Standard Setting and Accreditation for School and Higher Education
    1. To regulate and govern all stages of education effectively for public and private schools, NEP 2020 has recommended Standard Setting and Accreditation of Schools.
    2. To ensure that all schools follow certain minimal professional and quality standards, States/UTs will set up an independent, State-wide, body called the State School Standards Authority (SSSA).
  6. Vocational Education
    1. NEP 2020 provides for early vocational exposure in middle and secondary school along with smooth integration into mainstream education.
    2. It aims that by 2025, at least 50 percent of learners in the school and higher education system would have exposure to vocational education.

New Education Policy 2020-Principles
Principles of NEP 2020

Chapter 2: Assessment Reforms


The National Education Policy (the NEP 2020) focuses on assessments and board examination reform which is a step in the right direction.

New Education Policy 2020 (NEP-2020): Assessment Reforms

  • NEP-2020 emphasizes transforming assessment for optimizing the learning and development of all students.
  • NEP-2020 focuses on – regular, formative and competency-based assessment, promoting learning and development of students and testing higher-order skills.
  • The goal of NEP-2020 is to transform the culture of assessment.
  1. NEP 2020 outlines the need for census assessments in key grades in India
  • The recently approved National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has proposed a low-stakes annual school examination in grades 3, 5 and 8 across all schools (government and private) to evaluate children’s progress on core concepts, higher-order skills and their application.
  1. A Competency-Based assessment framework
  • By emphasizing the need to redesign progress cards and board exams, NEP 2020 encourages testing core competencies to reduce academic pressure and the need for coaching classes.
  1. Establishing a national assessment centre
  • The proposal to set up a national assessment centre, the PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), is key to providing a regular check on the education system.

Principles of High Quality Assessment System: 

  • Building consensus among the stakeholders
  • Agreement among the stakeholders on what are the core and essential competencies
  • Generating awareness among the stakeholders
  • Ongoing capacity building on various aspects of assessment

Chapter 3: Reinventing Teacher Education

Context: The National Education Policy recognises and identifies teachers and faculty as the heart of the learning process. Teacher education is vital in developing multidisciplinary perspectives and knowledge among students.

Teacher Education: The National Council for Teacher Education has defined teacher education as – A programme of education, research and training of persons to teach from pre-primary to higher education level.

Why is there a need for Reinventing Teacher Education?

  • In order to develop 21st-century skills like critical thinking – it is important for educators to develop skills like analysis, evaluation skills.
  • There is a need to imbibe skills amongst students like communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration which we value as 21st-century skills.
  • Students now do not rely solely on textbook information for their learning and they are far more aware. So, the educator here needs to go beyond the textbook.
  • Educators need to command more respect by bringing in more professionalism in the way they deal with students and parents, control and manage the classroom environment.


  • Lack of use of science and technology: The educational programmes for teachers or teacher education have not made full use of the latest technologies for developing teaching skills among students.
  • Lack of control over teacher education institutions: The teacher education institutions are so drastically increasing in number that it becomes difficult to monitor all the institutions. Some of these institutions are compromising quality for the sake of money.
  • Lacking in developing life skills: The main issue is that teacher-education is memory-based i.e. there is no active involvement of students, so there is a lack in the development of life skills among the students, which are essential for all-around development of students.
  • Lack of co-curricular activities: The co-curricular activities in teacher education are unplanned and not sufficient. Sometimes due to lack of time management these activities are ignored.
  • Problem of teaching practice: Teaching practice is neither adequate nor properly conducted. Student-teacher does not take the task of teaching practice seriously.

Teachers Education Post NEP-2020: 

  • The National Policy in Education was prepared to improve the quality of education in the country and was focused on providing education facilities to all the citizens of the nation.
  • The new education policy must help recruit the very best and brightest to the entire teaching profession at all levels.


  • Teachers should develop a global context for teaching and learning, and for this NEP recommends Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
  • Continuous development in a phased manner like we recommend for students is always long term and far-reaching.
  • The General Education Council should be given a free hand to unbiasedly assess the worth of the teachers through the National Professional Standards set for the teachers both in rural areas as well as in urban areas.
  • The teachers teaching in schools situated in rural India should be given the same scope to participate in various activities when compared to their urban counterparts.
  • Teaching still, to many of us, is an alternative profession, so rigorous training needs to be imparted so that we can give our best to the future citizens of the country.


There is a need to revamp the entire teaching-learning process of the Bachelor of Education course keeping in mind the multidisciplinary and integrated approach of the curriculum. One of the main aims of NEP is to support and nurture teachers through all phases of their tenure.

Chapter 4: Skilling Youth for Future

A brief perspective:

  • In order to encourage the engagement of youth in several programmes, growth and development, the government has been proactive in taking attentive measures to shape the futuristic vision of the country.
  • This can be achieved by skilling the youth ushering ways to create revolutions that are exemplified through policies such as the National Education Policy.

Skilling India through Vocational Training: Present Scenario

  • Under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, several schools have been established with a vision to educate and skill train millions of children at an early stage in an integrated and holistic manner.
  • The implementation of vocational education has increased considerably in the last six years.
  • CBSE has also been considering vocational training as an important component of holistic education.
  • Courses offered by CBSE also provide wide choices for schools and students to choose from the relevant competency-based courses.

What are the challenges?

  • Perceived social status hierarchy associated with vocational education
  • Lack of vertical mobility pathways
  • Lack of integration in the mainstream education system at all the levels
  • Inadequate number of institutes giving vocational training
  • Narrow curriculum
  • Unsuitable medium of instruction
  • Shortage of faculties to train the students
  • Lack of focus on emerging areas of industrial development
  • Lack of proper infrastructure

Vocational Training

What are the larger goals?

  • The New Education Policy 2020 targets to expose 50% of the learners to vocational education with its integration in the schools and higher education institutions by 2025.
  • Any intervention pertaining to vocational education is required to keep the child at the core of addressing the learning outcomes.
  • There have been efforts made to provide age-appropriate and customised vocational education at the Primary, Secondary and Higher secondary levels.
  • Under the National Skills Qualification Framework, vocational subjects are introduced in the curriculum.

Technology and Education:

  • The incorporation of technology in the education sector has gathered prominence during the pandemic and created an emerging demand for digital infrastructure to widespread skill education.
  • The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in education has been a productive initiative that needs further development along with the mitigation of the digital divide in India through effective policy interventions.

Towards a sustainable future:

  • With the ever-changing socio-economic conditions, skill education needs to ramp up that will add on to the overall growth of students, industries and communities.
  • Thus, it is required for every policy pertaining to education to venture through the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin that quotes, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Chapter 5: Quality Education for All

The background:

  • The New Education Policy 2020 aims to mark a revolution in the entire process of teaching and learning.
  • Incorporation of quality in education is a requirement of essence not just in terms of estimation of efficiency but certainly a valuable dimension to reform the system creating new opportunities.

Significance of quality education:

  • In order to make learning holistic, integrated, inclusive, enjoyable and engaging, quality education is a prerequisite.
  • It will assist in nurturing critical thinking, creativity, scientific temper, communication, multilingualism and so on and so forth.
  • Quality education can be an enabler to transform the traditional teach-centric approach to a learner-centric approach which will carve out the creative potential of every student.

Initiatives taken:

  • The central and the state governments have taken active steps through exemplary schemes like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Teacher Education to promote quality education and access in the disadvantaged and weaker sections of the society.
  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: Under this Act, good quality elementary education is mandated to adhere to the standards and provisions of the Act. Read more about RTE Act in the linked article
  • NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) is a unique programme under Samagra Shiksha by which the government is trying to revamp the teacher training process with the help of important academic bodies.
  • PM eVidya is noteworthy to mention and it aims to provide access to a variety of e-resources in 33 languages that involve Indian Sign Language, DIKSHA (one digital platform), Swayam Prabha and Podcast – Shiksha Vani.
  • PM POSHAN Shakti Nirman – It is a centrally sponsored scheme under the National Food Security Act that comprises children of Balvatika to class VIII in government and government-aided schools to be supplied nutritious food to the school-going children.
  • A competency-based assessment will be introduced through Structured Assessment for Analyzing Learning Level (SAFAL) for grades 3, 5 and 8 in accordance with the NEP.
  • The School Quality Assessment and Accreditation has been considered as the Standards Setting Authority for Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, Private Independent Schools and Government schools affiliated to the Board.

Recommendations of the New Education Policy 2020 to promote quality education:

  • It recommends reshaping the curricular framework into 5+3+3+4 pedagogical and curricular structure.
  • There will be pre-vocational education into the curriculum from the upper primary level along with the universalisation of Early Childhood Care and Education and Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.

Planning for quality education involves the following:

  • Curricular Materials
  • Linkages across levels of school education
  • Synergy
  • Innovative Pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • Capacity building and Teacher Training

Towards a sustainable future:

  • An emerging emphasis of the government in transforming school education is exemplified by its several effective steps taken to amplify the quality of education.
  • Introduction of new policies, encouragement towards multilingualism, impetus towards research, innovation and other skill development programmes are exemplary glimpses of the attentive steps of the government towards a sustainable future achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG 4).

Chapter 6: Equitable and Inclusive Education

Inclusions and Equity in education:

  • The National Education Policy, 2020 has proposed to prioritise the inclusion and equal participation of children with disabilities in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and the schooling system.
  • Inclusion has been ensured in the current NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) books through chapters, poems, notes for teachers and evaluation questions.
  • Besides, NCERT handouts for teachers are also published to assist the teachers to implement inclusive and equitable modes of learning.

Barkhaa: Reading for ‘All’ Children

  • The Barkhaa Reading series was developed originally by the Department of Elementary Education at the NCERT.
  • It aims to adapt and promote reading culture among the students and make it their habit.

Towards an inclusive environment:

  • Despite numerous interventions by the government and important academic institutions, experts infer that the concept of inclusion in the educational system has a long way to walk and needs further assessment and effective policy interventions.
  • Inclusion can add a chapter of success in the tales of education in the country provided a well-coordinated network is created among the stakeholders that involve teachers, educators, administrators and policymakers.
  • This will mitigate the issue of disability among children that acts as an obstruction in accessing quality education heading them towards every available opportunity. Thus, the existence of an inclusive society will be reflected in the actual scenario.

Chapter 7: Nipun Bharat Mission

A brief background:           

  • Foundational learning plays a critical role in the effective development of learning among students in successive grades. Better learning outcomes and higher economic growth are the major implications of foundational learning.
  • It focuses on the children’s ability to read and meaningfully comprehend and apply the basic mathematical concepts in real life.


  • This mission is attentive with its objective to the widespread universal acquisition of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
  • This will enable every child to procure desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy in the next five years.

Target areas of the mission:

  • Holistic development of learners that is inclusive of good health of the children (Goal 1), effective communication skills of the children (Goal 2) and making children engaged with their immediate environment (Goal 3).
    • Enhancement of competency
    • Productive learning outcomes
    • Involvement of all stakeholders
    • Reforming the assessment for learning
  • Vidya Pravesh aims to establish access to Early Childhood Care and Education to make the students familiar with the learning environment.

Way Forward:

  • Considering the effectiveness of the intervening policies and active participation of all the stakeholders, the right time has arrived to promote foundational learning with attentiveness which would act as a transformative step towards the advancement of learning methodologies in the country.
  • Therefore, it is envisaged that the NIPUN Bharat Mission will set up a landmark in bringing significant learning outcomes that will benefit and shape the future of this country.

Chapter 8: Bridging Education and Communities


The relationship between schools and the community incorporates a discourse about culture, knowledge, and standards.

Community Engagement in School Education:

  • NEP 2020 focuses on equal respect for all religions with the idea to develop or bring back creative human endeavours, required for the 21st-century education system.
  • Community involvement and mobilization are key success factors of adult literacy programmes, in conjunction with political will, organizational structure, adequate financial support, etc.

Community Participation in Education

Community Engagement in Higher Education:

  • The higher education system shall have multidisciplinary institutions of higher learning that offer undergraduate and graduate programmes, with high-quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
  • Strong government initiatives for higher education are needed to facilitate and encourage community involvement and the smooth and beneficial integration of technology.

Challenges and Limitations:

  • Exclusion of Some Groups: Traditional exclusion of some groups (women, minorities, youth, children) often limits their freedom to participate in community-wide initiatives.
  • Entrenched Power Structures: Many communities have entrenched power structures, including at schools, which are often characterized by authoritarianism, corruption, and a lack of transparency.
  • Learned Helplessness/Apathy: Communities that have been continual recipients of aid either from external agencies (religious, humanitarian, governmental), sometimes develop a learned helplessness or apathy regarding taking initiatives to resolve community problems.
  • Contributors to Sustained Poverty: Illiteracy, lack of economic or material resources, and ill health are among the contributors to sustained poverty that can limit community members’ participation in educational initiatives.
  • Dependence on External Resources: Dependence of communities in achieving their goals can jeopardize the long-term sustainability of community participation in education programs.

Key Principles for Effective Community Engagement

Principles for effective community Engagement

Chapter 9: Recruitment, training and Assessment of teachers


Better teacher recruitment and deployment strategies can contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

NEP 2020 and Teacher Recruitment

  • The National Education Policy 2020 puts teachers at the centre of the fundamental reforms in the education system.
  • The new education policy proposes measures to recruit the very best and brightest to enter the teaching profession at all levels.
  • For recruitment in private or government schools, the teacher must qualify through TET, give a demonstration class, pass the interview, and have knowledge of local languages.
  • The NEP 2020 Provides –
    • Teacher Eligibility Tests (TETs) will now be extended to cover teachers across all the new stages (Foundational, Preparatory, Middle and Secondary) of school education.
    • For subject teachers, TET, as well as NTA test scores in the corresponding subjects, will also be considered for recruitment.
    • The NEP 2020 also encourages school complexes to hire local eminent persons or experts as ‘master instructors’ in various subjects to meet the need of teachers to teach the newly introduced classical languages and vocational and skill subjects.


  • As per NEP 2020, teachers will be trained, encouraged, and supported – with continuous professional development – to impart foundational literacy and numeracy.
  • Based on the recommendations of NEP 2020 on teacher education and training, a National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021 will be drafted to guide all teacher education.
  • The B.Ed. degree will teach a range of knowledge content and pedagogy and include strong practical training.

Independent Training Wing:

  • For the teacher training programme, there could be a separate training wing with experts appointed as trainers.
  • These trainers will train the selective teachers from each district. These teachers then can further train other teachers from district, tehsil and block levels.
  • This can be implemented at the SCERT training wing available in states and UTs.

Merit-based Assessment:

  • Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators.
  • A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022.


In order to align with the NEP-2020, transformation in the assessment system by the 2022-23 academic session, guidelines for teacher education programmes shall also be developed.

Chapter 10: Teach Them Young


The emerging socio-economic environment in India is driving the need for standardization of quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

Background of Early Child Care Education in India:

  • ECE in India started with the Kothari Commission Report of 1965-66.
  • It continued with the Right to Education Act of 2009, which did not recognise education as a fundamental right for children between three to six years.
  • In contrast, the NEP 2020 envisages a five-year foundational stage of education: Three years of ECE and the first two years of primary school.

NEP 2020 and Early Child Care Education (ECCE):

  • The NEP identifies that over 85 percent of a child’s brain develops by the age of 6 and emphasizes providing critical importance to appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in a child’s early years for healthy brain development and growth.
  • It states that it is, therefore, of utmost importance that every child has access to quality early childhood care and education (ECCE).

Challenges of ECCE:

  • ECCE is being given formal recognition through NEP 2020 policy but no move has been made to modify the RTE act and include ECCE as a fundamental right.
  • ECCE implementation framework envisaged centralizing tendencies of the policy. A national-level curricular and pedagogical framework cannot be uniformly implemented as a ‘one size fits all’ strict framework to be followed.
  • The empowerment of Anganwadi workers/teachers is a neglected area that is in need of much attention and reform.
  • The policy does not provide a very satisfactory or hopeful roadmap for the empowerment of these workers/teachers that can play a major role in ECCE.

Improving ECCE:

  • Flexible Learning gives learners the freedom and choice to learn according to their intelligence, aptitude, talents, and interests and to learn at their own pace.
  • Multifaceted learning means going beyond the traditional focus on developing 21st-century skills – the 5Cs: communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and character building.
  • Play-based learning – makes learning a fun, pleasurable and collaborative experience.
  • Activity-based learning – ensures active engagement of learners with concepts and instructional materials.
  • Discovery-based learning – encourages learners to inquire into new concepts by building upon their prior knowledge and experiences.


Literacy development is a continuous process and is an important aspect of children’s development.

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