A message highlighting various important points of the National Education Policy 2020 which was revealed on Wednesday, 29 July by the Education Ministry, is doing the rounds on social media.
While the message is not completely incorrect, we found out that some points are false and misleading.
The message begins by saying “Very important decision by Modi Government..New Education Policy 2020 is announced” and goes on to state 20 points about the policy.
Some of the points that the message claims are part of the policy is one stating the breakup of the 5+3+3+4 structure, that any degree will be four years and that all higher education will be governed by only one authority.
We found that the message was extremely viral on both Twitter and Facebook.
We also found the same message on several blogs on the internet, as well as on Reddit.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The Quint read through the document of the NEP and found that while some of the points of the viral message are true or a valid interpretation of the path set out in the policy, some of them are false or misleading.
Let’s take a look at those claims one by one.
Does NEP 2020 say that until class 5 will be pre-school, classes 6 to 8 mid school, classes 8 to 11 high school, class 12 onwards graduation?
This is incorrect. In reality, the NEP states that this structure corresponds to the age ranges of 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years, respectively. The NEP further adds that the 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 design consists of “the Foundational (3 years of preschool + Grades 1-2), Preparatory (Grades 3-5), Middle (Grades 6-8), and High school (Grades 9-12 in two phases, i.e. 9 and 10 in the first and 11 and 12 in the second) stages respectively, with an option of exiting at Class 10 and re-entering in the next phase.”
Any degree will be for a duration of four years?
This claim is misleading. What the NEP actually says is that the undergraduate degree will be of a duration of three or four years, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications. The 4-year programme may also lead to a degree with research. What the document does say is that the four-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme, however, shall be the preferred option “since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic and multidisciplinary education”.
Further, for the Masters level, there could be a two-year programme with the second year devoted entirely to research for those who have completed the three-year Bachelors programme, while for students who have completed a four-year Bachelors programme with Research, there could be a one-year Masters programme. Additionally, higher education institutes could also offer an integrated five-year Bachelor’s/Masters programme.
Will the entire higher education be governed by only one authority?
While this claim is mostly true, there is one exception to it. The NEP will set up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) which will be divided into four verticals.
The first vertical of HECI will be the National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC), which will function as a common regulator for the higher education sector but will not include medical and legal education.
An excerpt from the policy document reads: NHERC will be “a single point regulator for the higher education sector including teacher education and excluding medical and legal education.”
Will a ‘New Teacher Training board’ be set up for all kinds of teachers in the country?
NEP Committee Member and Professor at the Centre for Persian and Central Asian Studies, Dr Mazhar Asif told The Quint that there is no truth to this claim. “All fresh teachers will be mentored by Block Resource Coordinators (BRC), Cluster Resource Coordinators (CRC), Block Institutes of Teachers Education (BITE), District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) etc,” he said.
Will all the schools exams be semester-wise twice a year?
The NEP document nowhere mentions any such thing. According to the document, all four stages in school, “in accordance with what may be possible in different regions, may also consider moving towards a semester system, or a system that allows the inclusion of shorter modules...in order to allow an exposure to more subjects and enable greater flexibility...”
Later, the NEP states that boards may eventually develop models of Board Exams that reduce pressure and the coaching culture and suggests the possibility of annual/semester/modular Board Exams.
Clearly, the message is a combination of actual policy decisions and fake claims.
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