About the Event: The Centre for Public Policy Research organised a webinar on Implementing NEP: Charting Kerala’s Education Goals 2025, in the context of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. The new National Education Policy introduces several changes in the Indian education system from the school level to the higher education level with an objective to sustainably transform the country’s academic system into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society. The session’s objective was to bring together a wide spectrum of stakeholders to discuss the school education landscape in Kerala where the NEP 2020 will be implemented, understand the problems faced by the stakeholders in the implementation of the NEP 2020, and the impact of COVID-19 in the educational landscapes.
The Key Speaker: Dr Shakila Shamsu, Special Advisor at CPPR. She was formerly an OSD (New Education Policy) in the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education. She has been the Secretary to the Committee to Draft National Education Policy. Her core areas cover education planning and policymaking, teacher education, ICT and Open & Distance Learning, and inclusive education.
Moderator: Dr D Dhanuraj, Chairman, CPPR, Kochi
Ms Nissy Solomon, Senior Research Associate at CPPR, concluded the session with a vote of thanks.
Panel Discussion Summary
The topic for the panel discussion was Implementing NEP: Charting Kerala’s Education Goals 2025.
Speaking about the National Education Policy 2020, Dr Shakila Shamsu pointed out that the Policy is an attempt to improve the process of learning by changing the role of educators to that of facilitators. It makes students the centre of development and outlines the holistic development of children through various areas of development.
She said that the restructuring of the school system to 5+3+3+4 under NEP 2020 is based on scientific evidence from the Institute of Brain Science on age-appropriate learning.
Talking about the expected changes in textbook content after the implementation of the policy, she said that there will be a new pedagogical methodology for the preparation of a curriculum by NCERT.
She highlighted that the core part of the curriculum will be provided by the centre. Further, the states will be free to make amendments to the curriculum keeping in mind their regional requirement. For this purpose, each state will have a state education council which will help them contextualise.
To bridge the gap between the difficulty levels and grading practices of different education boards across India, Dr Shamsu mentioned, a central body PARAKH has been tasked to rationalise testing methods across boards, thus ensuring equal opportunity and greater mobility.
Stressing on the importance of teacher-pupil ratio, Dr Shamsu said that the initiatives such as the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy mission will not only help in improving the teacher-pupil ratio but will also give us an enabling structure that will allow for greater collaboration through sharing resources by the idea of school complex structure.
Addressing the concerns on lack of uniformity due to curriculum being taught in regional languages, and the difficulties for the migrating children to adapt in such scenarios, she said that it is not mandatory for the student to learn all the languages. The Policy takes into consideration the floating population and other practices such as homeschooling and open schooling. As opposed to the current system where children are penalised to learn regional languages when they move from one school to another, the new system is much more flexible.
In order to motivate teachers to perform well, Dr Shakila said attempts will be made to ensure that teachers are not transferred and allowed to work at places near them. Teachers will be trained and recognition will be given to innovation through pay packages or fast-tracked promotions.
Students have individual capabilities and we have to respect those differences. As teachers and educators, it is important to recognise the likes and dislikes of the children and stop looking at them as robots or replicas of each other. We need to access learning competencies based on individual interests and performance.
This report was prepared by Samarth Khurana, Policy Articleship Intern, CPPR.