After nearly three decades, the Government of India has finally decided to bring a significant change in the Indian education policy via the NEP 2020 (National Educational Policy). When stating his views on the NEP 2020, the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, said: “We are shifting from the burden of school bags which does not last beyond schools, to the boon of learning which helps for life.”
He also added that the NEP 2020 will change the concept of education from simply memorizing to critical thinking.
On the other hand, India and the World have been reliant on online learning methods during the COVID‑19 pandemic to keep the learning process going. After the new education policy, it can lead one to think “will e‑learning be affected in India?”
Let us discuss some of the notable declarations in the new policy and see whether e-learning can rise to the occasion.
New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure:
- The NEP 2020 emphasizes on early childcare and education. A new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure will soon replace the old 10+2 structure of school curricula. It leads to a new system having 12 years of school education along with three years of Anganwadi/pre-schooling.
Most Online learning programs follow a K-12 curriculum. The K-12 curriculum covers 3 years of kindergarten and twelve years of primary education. Online learning would need to make slight adjustments to match the NEP 2020’s declaration. How will edtech companies like Byju’s raise up to the challenge this new education policy brings?
Emphasis on Local Language:
The NEP 2020 gives a thrust to implement mother tongue/regional language/local language as the medium of instruction at least until Grade 5.
Online learning platforms are sure to face a challenge in preparing content in regional languages, as most of the content is currently available in English. BYJU’S, the learning app, however, seems to be prepared to deal with this situation. The edtech startup from Bangalore already hosts e‑learning content in prominent regional languages such as Hindi, Gujrati, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu. Others may soon follow post the NEP 2020.
The prime minister also highlighted the weightage of interdisciplinary studies under the NEP 2020. He said: “Now we have done away with some traditional boundaries between arts, science, and commerce.” For example, a student may choose to study music and math together or coding and chemistry. It gives students control over the process and flexibility of learning.
Currently, the learning programs online are designed as per a student’s grade and syllabus, such as CBSE, State boards, ICSE, etc. E-Learning platforms need to switch to provide programs in individual subjects rather than one complete module. It will help better personalize the program to match the interdisciplinary studies.
Strengthening Vocational Education:
The NCERT will soon be developing a new and comprehensive framework. It is called the NCFSE 2020-21, (National Curricular Framework for School Education). This framework will aim for holistic development while combining skills and vocational education. As per the NEP 2020, Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade along with internship opportunities.
Although online learning practices a holistic approach for learning, we must wait to see how it will be able to help with vocational training.
Open and Distance Learning:
The NEP 2020 aims to expand open and distance learning programs to boost the growth of GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio).
Online learning may have to play a significant role here. It must be ready to help educate those who opt for independent studies as per the new policy.
Online Education and Digital Education:
The NEP 2020 has also covered the importance of online education following the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics. NEP 2020 recognizes online learning/education as an alternative model to deliver quality education, whenever and wherever in-person modes of teaching are not feasible.
Online learning has proven its effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online learning platforms can help build a digital infrastructure to make quality education accessible to all.
The education system in India is about to reach new frontiers, online learning needs to adapt and provide resources that suit the future needs.
These are some of the declarations mentioned in the NEP-2020.
What do you think? What do you think will NEP-2020’s impact be on online learning? Let us know…