– Vivek K Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, Careerera
The New Education Policy (NEP) was approved in July, 2020 by the Union cabinet. Its sole aim is to universalize education from the basic pre-school to the secondary level. The NEP-2020 replaced the existing National Policy of Education-1986. It is an inclusive framework that will focus on the elementary to a higher level of education in India.
There is no denial of the fact that the National Education Policy, 2020, is groundbreaking in every way. While the legislation covers a variety of topics, such as the need for early childhood care, comprehensive education, and curriculum reform, the interplay of education and technology is a common thread that runs through it all. India has evolved into a “information intensive society” over the last decade, and there is an increasing need to adopt technology in the field of education. One of the core principles guiding the education system, according to the policy, would be the ‘extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access, and education planning and management.
Students and teachers have been forced to re-imagine traditional learning and teaching methods under the new “pandemic conditions,” with interactive learning replacing in-person learning experiences. The policy’s introduction at this critical juncture is important because it details the vision of education for future generations and will be a crucial tool in the development of a “self-reliant” society.
The importance of applied learning, multiple learning pathways, and resource sharing is emphasised in NEP 2020. There’s also the focus on technology-enabled pedagogy beginning in grade 6 and versatile subject combinations. It also paints a positive image of learning that is built on a solid basis of 5 years of activity-based learning and another 3 years of preparation.
We’ve mentioned some of the most important aspects of the technology policy below :
- India gone digital – Investment in digital infrastructure, development of online teaching platforms and resources, creation of virtual laboratories and digital repositories, training teachers to become high-quality online content creators, developing and implementing online tests, and defining content, technology, and pedagogy standards for online teaching-learning are all part of the strategy. The policy calls for the establishment of a dedicated unit to plan the growth of digital technology, digital content, and capacity building for both school and higher education’s e-education needs.
- Education at the primary level – The policy recognises the value of technology in assisting teachers, bridging the language gap between teachers and students, building digital libraries, popularising language learning, and ensuring greater educational access (specifically for differently-abled children). It is also suggested that coding be included in curriculums of school as a necessary skill for students to learn. The policy also recognises that technology can be a useful tool in promoting teacher education and promotes the use of online teacher-training platforms.
- Education administration – The policy also includes the establishment of an Academic Bank of Credit to digitally store academic credits earned from various HEIs in order to promote the award of degrees based on credits earned over time. The policy’s focus on using technology to ensure the quality and accountability of regulatory bodies including the State School Standards Authority and the Higher Education Commission of India, as well as its four verticals – the National Higher Education Regulatory Council, National Accreditation Council, Higher Education Grants Council, and the General Education Council – is an intriguing aspect.
- Higher and professional education – The importance of embracing technology in professional education (legal/health) as well as incorporating technology to accelerate the goal of achieving 100 percent literacy (by offering high-quality technology-based adult learning options) has also been raised.
- Getting used to AI – The policy acknowledges the problems that have arisen as a result of the widespread use of artificial intelligence and emphasises the need to adapt to the changes that have occurred as a result of the increased use of AI across sectors. It has charged the NETF with defining and categorising emergent technologies based on their “potential” and “estimated timeline for disruption,” and presenting a periodic analysis to the MHRD, which will then formally classify those technologies that require appropriate responses from the educational system.
Although the policy is a novel and forward-thinking document that recognises the critical role of technology in promoting learning and teaching, it is critical to establish a cohesive plan of action for fostering technical proficiency in order to aid successful engagement with technology (and its potential advancements) while ensuring effective data security and privacy protections. The policy recognises that in the future, information will be more dematerialized and digitized in education. This mindfulness is a tremendous achievement for India’s traditionally conservative educational system.
Also read: Edtech can empower NEP 2020