Pune: The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has termed the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 as a revolutionary reform of the 21st Century.
Delivering the key-note address at the Centenary Year Teachers' Day Celebration of the Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Association of Mumbai through video link, he said, "early childhood education, inquiry-based education, teacher training, foundational and numeric literacy, have all been emphasized on."
The minister said NEP 2020 will empower our youth, which will take the nation forward in the 21st century. "The policy is such that it will make the teaching-learning experience enjoyable for both students and teachers" he added.
Javadekar expressed confidence that India would double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) within the next 10 years from the current level of about 25 per cent.
He said "students across the country have become aspirational and economic growth has pushed parental earnestness to provide a good education for their children. The wider geographical spread of higher education institutions, especially covering rural areas and increased demand would be the critical factors that will improve GER in India." he added.
Javdekar began his address by invoking Lokmanya Tilak's views on education as means of creating awareness, he said, "the new policy lays emphasis on foundational and numerical literacy and institutes like National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) would give access to education to all. The minister underlined the importance of Early Childhood Education as the main characteristic of NEP."
He said, "3 -8 years of age is important to build Cognitive skills, curiosity and mental capacity. He also said that education with subject understanding is important rather than rote learning."
"While activity-based learning is emphasized in the early stages, ninth to twelfth education would focus on detailed, relevant and new knowledge, which will induce scientific temper among children."
Javadekar said, "research and innovation are key to enabling our education mould globally competitive citizens. He said 3,000 'Atal Tinkering Labs' is running successfully to encourage research-based innovation, which is essential for building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat."
Speaking about the role of teachers in the society, the Minister said "a teacher does not simply teach through books or blackboards. An ideal teacher is the one who instils values in students through his or her conduct".
"Four years of integrated B.Ed degree is being introduced to provide a holistic training programme for teachers, which will include practical teaching skills. It will encourage teachers to become teachers by choice and not as a last resort," he added.
Javadekar said, "the National Education Policy has been formulated after extensive consultations. Recalling his days as the HRD. 13-14 subject experts had worked with great sincerity and zeal under the leadership of Dr K Kasturirangan."