A Guide to the National Education Policy for Teachers & Educators

India’s latest National Education Policy, or NEP, was implemented in 2020 to modernise our education system. The previous education policy was formulated in 1986 and had various principles that were out of sync with the needs of modern learners. Hence, on 29 July 2020, the Union Cabinet of India presented the NEP 2020 to outline the vision for a more accessible and simplified Indian education system.

According to NEP, learners and their needs should be the focal point of an education system rather than instructors. The new policy aims to make higher education accessible to Indian learners irrespective of age and background. It also emphasises the need to impart knowledge that helps learners hone their talent and improve their employability.

A Guide to the National Education Policy for Teachers

Here is a look at what the National Education Policy 2020 means for the different stakeholders in India’s education system.

Teachers

Shifting the focus of the education policy from teachers to students is meant to empower the role of teachers in education. The NEP offers opportunities for pedagogical innovation to create a more practical approach to learning. Some of the new methods recommended under the NEP 2020 are –

  1. Differentiated Instruction Approach – Every student learns at a different pace and with a unique perspective; in the differentiated instruction approach, educators tailor their pedagogy to fulfil every student’s individual learning needs.
  2. Emphasis on Teacher Training – For the NEP 2020 to succeed, our education system needs a competent teaching staff. The government is committed to organising better training programs and guidance for Indian teachers.
  3. Flipped Instruction – Under this approach, students are asked to study a concept or a topic through online guides, books, or videos. In the classroom, they apply what they have learned at home – in a sandbox scenario through hands-on activities, projects, and problem-solving.
  4. Project-Based Learning – Assigning project work to learners where they can apply their knowledge to create something new helps improve conceptual clarity.

Principals

School principals are leaders of our educational institutions and play a significant role in the quality of education offered to young learners. Before the National Education Policy 2020, school principals were appointed as per seniority. Now, the focus is on leadership aptitude and vision. Besides revising the selection criteria for school principals, their role now includes –

  1. Defining the School Vision – School principals should create a vision for their school in sync with the NEP 2020. Their vision should focus on the needs of the students and the community the school caters to.
  2. Collaborative School Culture – Principals should inspire teachers, parents, students, and other community members to work together for the school. Building a collaborative school culture can help the school achieve their vision and educational goals.
  3. Professional Development – Principals should support professional development and teacher training to enhance their skills. These professional development programs will also help teachers know the NEP practices and teaching methods.
  4. Integrated Classes – Principals should oversee the implementation of integrated classes, aligning them with the NEP 2020 guidelines. These integrated classes should focus on the needs of the students and the community the school caters to, promoting collaborative learning and holistic education.

Owners

The proliferation of private schools in India has created a large community of school owners in India. The school owners significantly influence the progress and setbacks of the Indian education system.

The NEP emphasises access, relevance, equity, quality, and robust foundational learning in primary education. To fulfil the NEP’s holistic education framework, school owners must update the curriculum and methodology they offer their students. The focus is on ensuring that young children develop higher-order cognitive skills including mathematics, computational thinking, and critical thinking – to prepare them for 21st-century careers.

School owners may need to build better resources and infrastructure in these three areas –

  1. Technology – The pandemic has shown us that students and teachers should be well-versed with technology and electronic devices. Schools should provide students with tablets, computers, laptops, and other digital devices. Students should be given lessons on using such technology and its advantages.
  2. Libraries – Libraries are a haven of knowledge within schools. Schools should have well-stocked libraries and run special programs to encourage students to read regularly.
  3. Laboratories – Laboratories are an essential aspect of school infrastructure to encourage students in STEM fields. They help entice interest in science and technology through practical experimentation.

Administrators

School administrators play a crucial part behind the scenes in our education system. The policy aims to create a digital infrastructure that education institutions can rely on.

Moving school documentation and records to a digital format will make administrative processes quicker. It will enable the school to free up more resources to assist teachers and create an error-free database. It will help reduce tedious paperwork and ensure uninterrupted learning – even in unprecedented circumstances, as seen in COVID-19 times.

The National Education Policy 2020 envisions an education system that prepares India’s future generations for the 21st century. It is focused on building relevant skills, improving technological aptitude, and accessible education. Stakeholders in the Indian education system should be the first to understand and appreciate the transformation it brings.

By improving equity, quality and productivity in education, we can create a schooling system that offers holistic development to young minds. The focus on the professional development of teachers is critical to changing the educator’s outlook while ensuring leadership aptitude among school principals and owners can help turn the NEP 2020 into a collaborative and transformative effort. And a much-needed one at that.

Author Bio:

Aanya Kapoor is a content marketer with Extramarks. Along with her team, she develops content relevant to the 21st-century education ecosystems. Her content revolves around topics such as smart learning technology in education, modern parenting, as well as other education topics. Her writing combines her knowledge and personal interests, making her a valuable resource for those seeking insights into education and parenting. Beyond her professional expertise, she’s an avid reader, a globe-trotter who explores diverse cultures, and a passionate gardener.

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