How does the NEP support students

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Source: The post how does the NEP support students has been created, based on the article “The NEP debate: Why criticism of the policy is premature and off the mark” published in “Indian express” on 21st June 2024

UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper2-Governance – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

Context: The article discusses the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP), replacing the outdated 1986 policy. It aims to improve employability by offering a flexible, outcome-based education system. It includes credit-based courses, skill enhancement, and allows students to exit and re-enter programs.

For detailed information on National Education Policy (NEP) read Article 1, Article 2

Why Was the NEP Updated?

  1. Outdated Policy: The old policy from 1986 was not updated for 34 years, making it irrelevant for modern needs.
  2. Employability Issues: Graduates lacked the skills needed for today’s job market, with many industries and jobs now existing that did not exist 20 years ago.
  3. Technological Changes: The rise of the internet and Industry 4.0 drastically changed job requirements.
  4. Need for Modern Skills: The NEP focuses on soft skills, technical skills, research, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

How Does the NEP Support Students?

  1. Flexible Learning Paths: The NEP allows students to pause their education for work and return later. This facilitates lifelong learning.
  2. Recognition of Prior Learning: Students can earn credits for work experience related to their studies, contributing towards their degrees after proper assessment.
  3. Practical Experiences: The curriculum includes internships, apprenticeships, projects, and community outreach. These provide real-world applications of theoretical knowledge.
  4. Outcome-Based Learning: Each course has specific learning outcomes measured through assessments. This ensures targeted and effective education.
  5. University Autonomy: Institutions like Delhi University allow students to choose majors and minors along with electives. This offers a multidisciplinary education.
  6. Credit-Based Courses: The NEP includes generic electives and skill enhancement courses, which equip students with employability and entrepreneurial skills.

What Criticisms Does the NEP Face?

  1. Dilution of Core Content: Critics argue that the NEP might dilute the core content of higher education.
  2. Increased Bureaucratic Burden: Some believe the NEP burdens students and educators with more bureaucratic requirements.
  3. Premature Concerns: Many criticisms are seen as premature and, in some cases, over-emphasized.
  4. University Autonomy Issues: Much criticism centers around syllabus design and content, which is a university-specific issue. For instance, Delhi University has done excellent work in adapting the NEP.
  5. Resource Needs: More resources are needed to fully realize the NEP’s potential, as infrastructure development is a long-term process.

Question for practice:

Evaluate the criticisms faced by the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) in India.

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