National Education Policy 2020

National Education Policy 2020: Scope of STEM & Extra Curricula

It already is big news for entire India that the 34 year old National Policy of Education (1986) is being replaced by the NEP 2020, i.e. the ‘National Education Policy 2020’.

NEP 2020’s media briefing conducted on the 29th of July 2020 addressed the media houses, & hence the entire nation, about the policies & the need of introducing them. Union Minister Prakash Javedkar addressed that the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the NEP 2020.

This has also led to the renaming of the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource & Development) to the Ministry Of Education as the Union Cabinet approved the NEP 2020.

 

Dr. Kasturirangan, the present leader of the NEP Committee, realized the need to revamp the education structure in India in order to create a holistic & well-rounded learning system for all different individuals with various different interests. This is what will very soon lead to new reforms in Schools & Institutes across the country.

 

NEP 2020 includes new policies that focus on:-

  • Reforms in Schools
  • Reforms in Higher Education

 

Both these reforms aim to draw the focus back to actual education & learning. NEP 2020 equally focuses on academic streams, extra-curricular activities & vocational streams in Schools. Similarly, for Colleges & Universities, NEP 2020 has introduced multi-disciplinary courses which means college students will have a flexible choice of Major  & Minor Subjects.

 

How Upgrading The Education Policy Could Benefit The Students:

With the introduction of NEP 2020, it’s now clear that more practical classes, extracurricular activities & latest technologies are going to be introduced from the school levels itself. For example, coding/ programming are to be introduced from Class 6th onwards. Also, from 6th standard onwards, students can enroll in internships & learn to practically use various tools, skills & softwares in real-world scenarios.

 

Apart from choosing an additional subject/ course, i.e. a Minor along with the Major, the 

College / University students will even have the option of a multiple entry & exit system. This provides college students with more flexibility in terms of pursuing the field of their choice.

 

With the introduction of the latest tools & technologies, the education system in India will surely be able to compete with international systems.

 

Virtual Reality:

Adding Virtual Reality from primary stage onwards (especially in schools) can develop a creative mindset and improve the way of understanding. With VR, students not only learn but they also virtually see things as if they themselves are in that dimension. This 3D Point-Of-View of VR is already a common medium of education in most developed countries & soon India will be a part of this VR medium of education

 

STEM Education:

Another new medium of education is STEM (abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). STEM Education doesn’t simply mean choosing one or all of the 4 mentioned fields. STEM Edu. means using real-life latest tools & technologies to build things & learn while doing so. Some of the common sub-fields of STEM are 3D Printing, 3D Designing, Robotics, Electronics, IoT, Mechatronics, Programming, VR, etc. 

For school students, all such STEM Education programs can be introduced at a very young age. As the students begin to practically experience STEM starting from the basics, year by year, STEM education programs for them keep upgrading.

For example, under STEM Education, grade 5 students are taught to make wired robot cars using DC motors. At a later stage, say Grade 10, they would be making a wireless robot car as a part of their STEM Course.

STEM also is a major contributor to the modernization of education in developed countries. Even NASA provides STEM education to K-12 students i.e school students. ISRO also has announced workshops of similar concepts, although initially, a limited number of students are to be selected for this.

 

3D Printing & Designing:

Let’s take another example, grade 3 students can pick a pre-existing 3d design of their choice & they can print it on a 3D Printer at the STEM Lab at their school. When they have a basic understanding of 3D Printing from such a young age, they can learn to make perfect 3D designs by the time they’re in grade 8th. This way they won’t have to rely on pre-existing designs & can make their own designs to 3D Print. 3D Printing has its use in every field whether it is Physics, Biology, Arts, Computers or Sports.

 

Usually, Physics/ Engineering students love to 3D Print the body of their drone so that they can utilize their Electronics (STEM) knowledge to actually make a wireless drone that can perfectly fly using the remote that those students also design.

 

Conclusion:

With the introduction of a creative STEM Program from school levels, students show interest in these fields with better focus, creativity & dedication. They tend to have more creative and practical approaches towards modern problems.

Now, during the time of pandemic this 2020, we are seeing more & more students developing useful solutions and safety-gears to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

STEM opens-up a path for students to practically learn the basic & then the intermediate level of various trending and important technologies. Such students turn out to make better career decisions in the future. By the time such students reach Universities/ Colleges, they know why they chose their particular fields of studies & show more creativity.

By providing the students with the right tools and resources, their parents, schools & institutes can bring a big change and can fulfill the lack of skills in our next generations.

With the green flag of NEP 2020 from the Indian government, the education pattern & structure will gradually change & welcome the introduction of more such practical & real-world education approaches. Let’s prepare for this new dawn & help the school & college students in pursuing their dreams.

 

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