Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11, 2020 spoke about the New National Education Policy, focusing on school education as a part of the NEP 2020 Conclave on ‘School Education in 21st Century’.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained the roadmap of NEP in primary education through stories and examples. Here are the key things PM Modi said in his speech.
- In the last 3 decades every sphere of society has changed. But the education system was moving on the old track. It was necessary to bring change. NEP serves to create the instrument for fulfilling New India’s aspiration.
- For the last 4 years many experts and people from many spheres worked on this. But this is just a start. Everyone needs to be involved here for the success.
- More than 15 lakh suggestions have come from teacher’s community to MyGov platform. Teachers are actively involved in the process.
- At the pre-school level, teachers who can create an environment of playful learning, instil mathematical thinking and scientific thinking are needed. There may be some schools that are already working on it;to that end, the NEP will bring uniformity in the system.
- Focus on foundational literacy and numerical literacy is a key pillar of the NEP. Learn to read to read to learn – this Vikas yatra starts at foundational level.
- New Age Learning should be based on the action mantra of engage, explore, experience, express, and excel.
- Students should visit traditional work units and get practical knowledge of how things are done. It will make them to learn and respect skills.
- NEP has evolved in a manner that pares down syllabus and brings to the fore practical knowledge. It is forward-looking, future ready, scientific approach with incorporating all the suggestions.
- Critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, curiosity, communications are the needs of 21st Coding, Internet of things, Artificial Intelligence etc are ruling the new century, and students need to be accustomed with it.
- Today’s education is unfortunately marksheet oriented. For parents, education has become a matter of prestige and for students it is a reason for pressure. This has been changed in the new system, with holistic report card with evaluation from self, peers, teachers
- Language is not equal to education. So, in whichever language students is comfortable with should be accepted as the medium of instruction. That is why all the developed countries teach their primary education in mother tongue. If the language differs, the kid’s energy is spent on understanding the language instead of grasping knowledge. There is no barrier to learn other languages. But up to the 5th standard NEP stresses on teaching in mother tongue.
- Teachers who play a steering role in implementing this NEP has to learn new things and unlearn many old things.
The Stories and Examples PM Modi Narrated
Making Learning Fun: Explaining how foundational and numerical literacy can be taught practically to the students, PM Modi gave an example. “Ask student about the number of names he can recall of his or her classmates. Then make the kid to recite their names in fast pace. In the next stage, the exercise can be stretched to call the name and make that particular student acknowledge it by standing up.”
The Story of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar: PM Modi narrated an incident from Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s life to highlight how a kid can effectively learn outside the classroom. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the age of 8 years didn’t know English and embarked upon a journey to Kolkata through road. He asked about the numbers displayed in the milestones along the way. His father answered his queries. When they alighted at Kolkata, he could count all the English numbers.
Experiential and Experimental Learning: Japan has this concept of taking kids for forest bathing. The students are taken to nature so that they can enjoy and seek new things.
When Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, a similar programme was successfully conducted in a school. The students were given a task to identify the most aged tree in their village. In the process, they explored nature met many elders to collect the information. It was a great learning. When the finally traced the tree, they wrote essays and poems etc about that tree.
How to Develop Sensitivity: A kid should be made to know other people in the surroundings. For example, how many kids know the name of the rickshaw driver who reaches them to school? Do they know about his whereabouts, his life? If the kid is made to communicate with such people, he/she will develop respect in each work. When they grow, they will apply solutions to ease the life of such fellow citizens.
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