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The National Education Policy 2019

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

India aspires to take its place beside the United States and China as the third largest economy by 2030-2032, the same period during which the Education Policy will bring about the biggest transformation. India is the sixth largest economy now and we will reach five trillion in five-seven years taking us to fourth or fifth position. By 2030-2032 we will be the third largest economy at over ten trillion. Our ten trillion economy will not be driven by natural resources, but by knowledge resources. We have not looked ahead into the implications of being the world’s third largest economy. It will be a totally different environment. Ecosystems force us to think differently and achieving this milestone will have

ramifications all across the country. Are we ready to take our place besides the USA and China as the top three largest economies of the world and be confident of sustaining it in the following years? To do this, we will need a knowledge society based on a robust education system, with all the requisite attributes and characteristics in the context of changes in knowledge demands, technologies, and the way in which society lives and works. In this context, the Prime Minister’s recent call to leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution to take India to new heights is particularly apt. Quality education will be a key part of the transition to the knowledge economy that is currently underway in parts of India but needs to encompass the entire country

The National Education Policy 2019 envisions an India centered education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all.

•Every child in the age range of 3-6 years has access to free, safe, high quality, developmentally appropriate care and education by 2025.
Over 85% of cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of six. The Policy therefore focuses on developing an excellent curricular and pedagogical framework for early childhood education by NCERT in accordance with the above guidelines, which would be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of early childhood educational institutions, consisting of Anganwadis, pre-primary schools/sections co-located with existing primary schools, and stand-alone pre-schools, all of which will employ workers/teachers specially trained in the curriculum
Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Education:
The Framework will consist of two parts:

a. The first part will be a framework of guidelines for 0-3 year olds - intended for parents as well as Anganwadi teachers/workers - for appropriate cognitive stimulation of infants and young children in this age range.

b. The second part will be an educational framework for 3-8 year olds (Foundational Stage) - intended for parents as well as for Anganwadis, preprimary schools, and Grades 1 and 2 - consisting of a flexible, multilevel, play-based, activity-based, and discovery-based system of learning that aims to teach young children alphabets, numbers, basic communication in the local language/mother tongue and other languages, colours, shapes, sounds, movement, games, elements of drawing, painting, music, and the local arts, as well as various socio-emotional skills such as curiosity, patience, teamwork, cooperation, interaction, and empathy required for school-preparedness.

Significant expansion and strengthening of facilities for early childhood education
a. Strengthening and expansion of the Anganwadi system to include a robust education component
b. Co-locating Angawadis with primary schools:
c. Co-locating pre-schools with primary schools where possible:
d. Building stand-alone pre-schools:
All four of the above approaches will be implemented in accordance with local needs and feasibility of geography and infrastructure. Universal access to quality early childhood education is perhaps the best investment that India can make for our children’s and our nation’s future.

Part 2: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Objective
We are in a severe learning crisis: a large proportion of students in elementary school has not attained foundational literacy and numeracy.
•By 2025, every student in Grade 5 and beyond has achieved foundational literacy and numeracy.
•Expansion of midday meal programme. If action is not taken soon, over the next few years the country could lose 10 crore or more students from the learning system and to illiteracy.
•Workbooks on language and mathematics
•National repository of language and mathematics resources: The National Teacher’s Portal (DIKSHA) will have a special section of high quality resources on foundational literacy and numeracy.
•National Tutors Programme: A National Tutors Programme (NTP) will be instituted, where the best performers in each school will be drawn in the programme for up to five hours a week as tutors during the school for fellow (generally younger) students who need help.
•Remedial Instructional Aides Programme
•Ensuring proper teacher deployment and teacher conditions, and a Pupil Teacher Ratio under 30 : 1 at every school
•Expansion of public and school libraries and building a culture of reading and communication
Systematic encouragement and opportunity for ‘philanthropic’ support to education from multiple sources will also be the part of policy.

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