The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to provide an impetus to the digital mode of education in the country. But it will require additional funding for schools, said a report by CARE Ratings.
CARE Ratings said the two main sources for financing it would be government aid and increasing school fees.
“Raising school fees will indirectly add to the existing challenge of high drop-out rates, especially in rural areas where drop-out rates are high. Therefore, the government has a greater responsibility to motivate students and parents to continue staying enrolled in the education system,” added the report.
NEP 2020 was passed by the Union Cabinet on July 29 and seeks to bring a slew of changes in the way education is delivered in schools and colleges.
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With respect to the drop-outs, the report said the main reason for dropping out of school has remained unchanged over the years. The common reasons include financial constraints, engaged in domestic activities, school is far off, completed desired level/class, no tradition in community and non-availability of girls’ toilet among others.
CARE Ratings said in the report that in order to achieve 100 percent gross enrollment ratio by 2030 (as stated in NEP 2020), the government first needs to address these challenges.
“More funding and infrastructure shall be required. Additionally, effective counselling of parents will be needed to make them realise the importance of education in the 21st century,” CARE said in the report.
CARE Ratings said the education system was in pressing need for a change in curriculum that dispenses with the rote system of learning and focuses on concepts which have high relevance today.
It added that the new teaching will promote problem-solving skills with the usage of application-based methods of learning.
NEP 2020 has also said students will be introduced to coding in the sixth grade and taught evolving technologies like artificial intelligence. CARE Ratings said in its report that these are the skills required by employers today and will thus improve the employability of graduating students.
While the policy of using mother tongue as the medium of instruction till fifth grade under NEP 2020 has evoked mixed response from the public, the report stated that unfamiliar language/medium of instruction is one of the main barriers for students to not to enroll in schools.
The report added that while NEP 2020 language policy addresses enrollment issues, it said that this announcement could pose challenges in higher education.
“While this (medium of instruction) announcement addresses the challenge of enrollment in schools in lower grades, but poses a new challenge of language barrier in higher education institutes, where the medium of instruction is not the mother tongue - but usually a common language like English or Hindi,” the report said.