Last week, Indian education policy finally caught up with the times and the mission statement of the thousands of edtech startups in the country. With an eye on holistic education and 360-degree learning, the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has introduced some radical changes like doing away with formative assessment, harmful hierarchies in primary education and silos between different areas of learning. At the same time, it is also looking to reduce the burden on parents from the point of view of coaching classes and eliminate the pressure on students when it comes to the ‘high stakes’ aspect of certain exams.
The NEP 2020 envisions Indian schools and colleges for the next phase in the 21st century. From the earlier 10+2 system, the primary and secondary school structure has been modified to 5+3+3+4 model. Programming and coding is a major focus in the NEP as a subject in school curriculum from Class 6 and higher. The policy also brings greater focus on the ability of students to read, write and perform basic operations with numbers, rather than rote learning.
Many of the reforms mentioned in the draft are things that edtech companies have been working on for years now — from teaching coding to school kids and inspiring critical thinking, to early childhood education and tech-integrated multidisciplinary learning. But, of course, their user base was limited to a certain class of students whose families could afford after-school courses or premium schools. With government reform coming into picture, the hope is that quality education and online learning can be experienced by students across classes.