We’ve been listening and hear questions like, “When will national education policy be implemented?” and “Is the national education policy implemented?”
The long overdue NEP 2020 was introduced 34 years after the last policy in 1986. Unfortunately, it could not be implemented because of the onset of the pandemic and resultant lockdown. However, while schools are still functioning online, the Government of India has been proactively taking steps to initiate the first phase of implementation.
In case you are wondering what is the new national policy on education, read this first –
You can also see our last update published in September here –
Everyone’s been wondering when the NEP 2020 as the National education policy 2020 is fondly called will be implemented – indeed whether it will be implemented at all – given the current pandemic situation. So here’s an update –
Literally translated the Hindi word sarthak means fulfilled and that’s exactly what the Education Minister Dr. Pokhriyal did on Thursday the 8th of April, 2021. In a meeting attended by top government officials, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal discussed the implementation of NEP 2020 and released an implementation plan which they named SARTHAQ (Students’ And Teachers’ Holistic Advancement through Quality Education). SARTHAQ is a prelude to the implementation of the policy – the ground work if you will. It will “Benefit all stakeholders including 25 crore students, 15 lakh schools, 94 lakh teachers” as reported by LiveMint based on a Press Release. The implementation plan is based on suggestions and inputs stakeholders and 15 lakh suggestions received during a Shikshak Parv (Teachers’ Fest) in September 2020.
What is SARTHAQ?
SARTHAQ focuses on defining activities and tasks along with clearly defined goals, responsibilities, timelines and so on. It is a detailed implementation plan for which 297 tasks have been identified to be fulfilled by agencies entrusted with the responsibility. 304 expected outputs have been identified for these tasks.
According to the Press Release Dr. Pokhriyal said, “Attempt has also been made to propose activities in a manner, such that it will be built upon the existing structure rather than creating new structures. Thus, SARTHAQ takes care of the spirit and intent of the Policy and is planned to be implemented in a phased manner.”
Here are some of the expected outcome of SARTHAQ
|Availability of textbooks in regional language / mother tongue.||Ease of Access|
|Availability of e-content in classrooms through technology integration and governance.||Ease of Access|
|Increase in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), Net Enrolment Ratio (NER), transition rate and retention rate at all levels and reduction in drop outs and out of school children.||Infrastructure|
|Better infrastructure and resources for schools including sharing of resources across schools||Infrastructure|
|Guidelines for designing new curriculum for ECCE, elementary, and high school along with guidelines for teacher training and adult education. (Class 1-12 are already underway)||New Course New Textbooks|
|Access to quality ECCE for all ensuring basic literacy and numeracy by grade 3.||New Course New Textbooks + RTE|
|Improving learning outcomes through emphasis on mother tongue in early years.||Quality of Education|
|Integration of vocational, extracurricular, and skill based learning in new curriculum at all levels.||Quality of Education|
|Introduction of Experiential (experience & observational) and informative pedagogy in classrooms at all levels.||Quality of Education|
|Reforms in board exams and entrance tests.||Quality of Education|
|Better training for teachers||Quality of Education|
|Improvement in learning environment for both students and teachers making it safe and inclusive.||Quality of Education|
|Establishment of State School Standards Authority (SSSA) to bring about uniformity in standards, learning outcomes, and governance across public and private schools.||Quality of Education|
|Improvement in teacher recruitment process and introduction of continuous capacity building and professional development for teachers.||Quality of Education + Infrastructure|
|Development of improved and diverse learning material.||Quality of Education + New Course New Textbooks|
The primary objective of SARTHAQ is to lay the foundation for implementation of NEP 2020. While the press release does not provide much detail other than the above mentioned outcome, we hope that the implementation will proceed as planned. Meanwhile, a word on the timelines of implementation of NEP 2020 and what has been done so far.
PHASES AND TASKS OF NEP 2020
While SARTHAQ lays the foundation for a new infrastructural framework, implementation of NEP 2020 has already been initiated in other areas. The NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) is expected to devise a futuristic new curriculum by 2021 while the SCERT (State Council of Education Research and Training) is expected to implement this by 2022. The school books will be revised and republished in three phases from 2021 to 2024. The first phase is grades 9, 10, 11, and 12. In the academic year 2021-22 students of class 9 can expect a new curriculum. They will continue to have a new curriculum for the next 4 years until class 12 and will be the first batch to write their board exams in a completely new examination pattern.
Competency based questions have been introduced in board papers and such questions are expected to gain momentum with increasing in number until 2025-26 when more than half the paper will be competency based rather than rote learning.
On a different tangent, the new teacher training curriculum for B.Ed is expected to be introduced in 2022. Simultaneously, an ECCE course for Anganwadi workers is being developed and is expected to be completed by 2024.
Balvatika programs are to be introduced in Anganwadi in 2022 along with a preparatory course spanning 3 months for grade 1. Gradually, higher standards will be introduced completing 5 grades by 2025 thus taking care of the first stage of the 5+3+3+4 pattern of NEP 2020 which will replace the 10+2+3 pattern.
On another tangent SCERT of select states have been entrusted with identifying teachers in certain areas to be trained for teaching in regional language or mother tongue. Resources for such teaching will also be simultaneously be developed and students will gradually be introduced to new medium of instruction.
Overall, the implementation plan is expected to span over a period of 5 years. As revealed by the School Education Secretary Ms. Anita Karwal and reported by The Hindu, the first step is to establish the framework. This has been initiated in the form of SARTHAQ. We hope to see a new system of education in place by the end of the academic year 2025-26 and a bright future for the entire population of India.